Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My etsy

Check out my new little shop on etsy! I'm excited about this. A friend of mine suggested I post my art/jewelery on this site. I didn't know about it before. At this point I will be posting new items regularly.... so check it out!

Buy Handmade

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Relationship not Religion

I struggle to understand God's love for me in the depths of my heart.... It is a truth I know in my head but not one that I walk in as fully as I know I could and as I want. What is blocking my heart from knowing this? Is it my inability to let myself go, to fall off the cliff of self dependance and fall into the arms of love... to be surrendered... to let go and be carried by Jesus and only Jesus. I want that so. I want to be free Jesus... set me free.
I need God to reveal his heart of love for me.... Jesus has a heart of flaming love for his children. He loved me soo much that He listened to His father and died a death of great agony and shame so that I could live with Him for eternity. It is a truth I have heard so long... it is like lukewarm water running through my fingers.

I don't know much what it is to live in stark darkness.... to not feel any warmth of love or affection... to have that deep echoing emptiness inside. I was brought up in a christian family... Jesus came into my heart at a young age. I have desired to have a testimony of being saved at an older age out of great sin and suffering, so that the reality of His love for me would be more real and more tangible... but I haven't. But in turn God has given me this life, which I am thankful for...

Mine is a testimony of being born into God's family at a young age. Of being spared the wounds and wounding of living outside of “the camp.” So in turn it is a lifestyle that I am used too... a life that I cannot contrast in my own experiences to one of empty darkness.

But because of my humanity I too experience levels of abandonment, aloneness and darkness. I am still flesh, I still struggle and thirst after a touch of God's unconditional love for me. The reality of knowing God. You see I have been brought up with good morals.... but the face of God for me is layered over with distorting glazes of religiousness and self righteousness.

I do not fully understand my own inability to reach God... I do not understand His love for me and His grace that saves me from myself from a life lived in self righteousness, an actually state of cripplement.

Religion and self rightousness... fill my mind with condemnation... I become my own holy spirit.... I must live up to a code of conduct deemed appropriate by myself and others that have gone before me. It becomes the face of God which I see... a god who I pull away from in fear... and anger.

What is the foundation of this path that I have chosen to walk? I know I could make a good pharisee...I am a perfectionist after all. These weights of religion hold me down... I stare into the face of law.... it cannot be satisified.

I want to fly on the wings of love and gaze into my redeemers face of grace.... that is given to me... this grace is not earned it is a gift.

I need you God to reveal your heart, your redemption... my place in this... my own vast need... of Jesus dying on the cross for me. Part of me wants to fall away... so you can gather me into your arms in pure love without these voices from my past saying “you must be perfect.” I want a relationship with you, not with religion. May I with Paul, be able to count it all as lost to know only you Jesus.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A New Kind of Friends List

This is a little excercise... one my dad just put me through. I was whining about my friend situation. I was having an ablosute pity party with confetti and snacks...I don't always feel like people pursue me the way I pursue them. I do understand people are busy... and people get married, and too life just happens. But it's not alway easy living way out in the country and I've moved away from areas where alot of my friends have lived/or they've moved.

So my dad took a piece of computar paper and had me start listing people that are my friends, he wrote them down than I started adding more and ended up typing it up. I didn't list everyone I knew... I didn't list everyone that I've been "friends" with ... I listed people that matter to me, that for some reason have stuck in my heart. I understand people change, life changes... heck even I change!

I have people that are listed from when I was growing up in Maine... even friends mothers... people alot older than me. I have friends from NH, when I was in Bible School all the way to people I met in Thailand...

People that I'd be alot closer with if they just lived closer... I had a friend once say that we don't like goodbyes because we're made for eternity. That is very true.

So I'd say this is a way to remember to be thankful for the people in your life... the ones that you hardly ever see and the ones you may see every week... include family...heck I'm friends with people in my family.

So far I have 50 friends listed. Well I just added a few more so now I have 53. I think it's a great exercise in remembering what God has blessed us with. Even look back and remember how you have influenced people and how people influenced you.

One big way that God blesses us and touches us is through the companion ship, the love the sharing that happens in friendships.

So if you've been feeling lonely lately or like doesn't anyone like me write a new kind of friends list. It's good to see it on paper.

Come on, start your list.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Swirling Leaves

Here's a poem I wrote on Feb. 6th 2007. It was because of dealing with some big things in other people's lives.

Even if you believe in Jesus sometimes sin (which works death in us) can wreck havoc. So we haveta leave it behind. We live in this corruptible, diseased flesh...can it be an day we'll all got to heaven (if you truly believe in Jesus as your Lord and savior...if you don't know what I mean ask me:) and every tear will be wiped away.

Sit back and relax, let the "word pictures" wash over you...

This life is a swirling mess of confusion-like leaves disturbed by an Autumn gale. Cold and biting fingers tear at our minds, our arms, pinning us to the ground.

We look around us and see the death, the gravestones citing what is dead-relationships going gangrene, destinies dismembered, hopes and dreams- empty shells like corpes lying in coffins-never to move and live and change the world.

The world is a horrible place. The darkness desires to cover us to indwell us...fingers tear and probe, pushing the pain deeper into our hearts, whispering that we are worthless...screaming "There is no hope."...."you are not seen..." "no one ever loved you..."

We start a journey...a pilgramage, a seeking for...We don't know what. Phantoms dance before our eyes...prostituting our broken bleeding hearts, making love, than crashing the door behind us as we lay in our blood, writhing in anguish as another part of us is torn, slashed, crushed and left to rot. It laughs in our face, cackles, it's eyes glinting with victory as we are conquered.

The leaves swirl even faster, the pounding heart aching at every beat, mocks and taunts us with being alive. Our flesh is alive but we know we are's unreal we don't recognize ourself-we look at our dead lifeless body and don't comprehend, we are numb.

The leaves fill our senses muffling every sound-all we hear is the screeching and churning of death, or brokeness, of debauchary.

So we close our eyes...we have no one to save we close our eyes and let the leaves cover us. Floating down, brown deadness covers.

Autumn comes, the cold comes. Winter comes. Everything is dead, is cold and naked. We think death will bring peace-if we only cut our heart out and leave it in the snow, will the pain go it's place is numbness...but the pain is always there-like a cancer it has entered every part of our life.

The swirling snow bites and cuts our face-as we wtach our heart- the blood seeping into the snow. Once it stops we think we'll be it stops we only feel an emptyness, a dead weight-a chill that fills every part of us...but at least we don't feel the searing pain...

we are now dead man walking....

But, I know that spring comes. I know that Jesus' heart can fill the empty hearted...I know lives can be changed and will be healed by Jesus. There will be the sunrise. There is hope.

Jesus walked through the swirling leaves- he was buried by them too and died , but when the spring came he lived and is now alive.

Take it-let his heart fill the hole in your chest. Leave your broken heart was diseased anyways...

Let God's love fill you- cover you like warm oil- soothing and healing the wounds. Let the darkness become his Sunshine. I don't even understand it- I don't fully comprehend it-but it's true.

Life is possible after death and disease. Just let the corpse-your dead body lie under the leaves- let Jesus lift you up in Newness of life...don't look back at the lifelessness that was yours-it's buried under the leaves and under the snow. Spring has come. You are beloved-He is your beloved-you are a New creature-loved and wanted as a baby is when first born. Pink and fresh, no scars-perfect in His eyes. You are desirable...

Never look back-don't let the death fill your vision-remember NOW you are alive.

You can truly dance-
You can truly sing
You can truly love.

Because you don't have to trust your past.
Your life is Christ's now and His is yours.

You are FREE! Spring has come.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

overweight bags, root canals and street children

Well here I am at home typin on our computar with dial up. Boy is it a drag sometimes... waiting for a page to upload. Notice I said "at home." Yup that's where you'll find me these days.

My time in NYC ended on March 22nd. Took a bus home with 3 crazy big suitcases. I was suppose to pay for the third bag but they never got around to weighing it (it was over weight!) and charging me so as one of the greyhound attendants said, "if it ain't broke don't fix it!"

So I've been home for about 2 and a half weeks. Since being home I've had my taxes done, had my brother down here with his family for a week, got the stomach flu (took a long time for my stomach, days later to feel right), and than yesterday to top it all off I had basically a construction crew (ok one to two dentists and a helper) in my mouth, jabbing needles and taking somethin' like a jackhammer and grinding and pounding one pour little tooth that didn't know how to take care of himself... he was full of SIN and of death the little bugger... but now he's dead filled with a temporary filling and waitin' around for the permanent filling and a crown (wow there's a spiritual allegory there waiting to happen!!!) I don't wanna eat on my left side cause my jaw is sore too ugh! Six plus months ago I had two wisdom teeth out on my right side too, so this lil' mouth of mine's been through ALOT! But I am thankful for the way God is providing for me so that I can get some BIG work done in my mouth!

Alot of you probably wonder what "adventure" Marie is going to do next. You know what I'm not 100% sure. But if you know me I'm already thinking and learning about something that I may do:)

Krista gave me some excellent advice. That I shouldn't do another 3/6 month stint somewhere but get a focus a vision of what I want to do and do it . Be committed to something for like 2 years.

I really like that advice. I'd like to put my roots down for longer than 3 or 6 months ya know.

What I'm looking at is possible going with Youth With a Mission again in 4 or so months...or whatever... and doing a school called "Children at Risk." After the initial training part we'll do an outreach and work with children at risk than I'm suppose to commit to a year long internship with a ministry that works with Children at risk. One of the schools is in Belo Horizonte Brazil and the other is in Switzerland. I don't know what the time frame for the Switzerland school is, like how long everything is but it may be similar.

In Belo Horizonte they have some permanent ministries goin' on. They have a home for x-street boys, and one for girls, a home for teen mothers, a school for the deaf and I believe a home for HIV/AIDS kids.

Truly working with street kids has been a dream of mine for years.

So this is just some stuff I'm lookin' at and learning about to see if possible it'd fit into my future. I'm not sure if any of this will work out but you and I will find out huh!?:) God holds my future and He knows I'm willing to go anywhere and wanting to go anywhere, "get me outta this house Lord!!;)".

Sunday, March 02, 2008

learning to dance...

Wow! I have about 2 and a half weeks left of my time here in NYC. That's kinda sad:( This will probably be a quick note...I'm not feelin' too good... I got caught by another cold. There's been alot of sickness goin' around here.

So yup 2 and a half more weeks. WoW! The time has flown but also it's felt like forever!

I do not know what I am going to do next. For all ya'll that will ask me that's the answer.

I've been learnin recently more aobut how God speaks to us, how He communicates. I've been reading the book, "A Beautiful Way" by Dan Bauman. He talks about his relationship with God and fundamentals to that relationship.

Instead of just having your devos in the morning and getting that checked off your list he challenges or suggests that we instead center our day on JEsus. That we make Him a part of everything. That everything comes out of our relationship with him. THat we get direction and guidance even from him, to look to Him in every thing. That's what intimacy with Jesus looks like. To get his heart his mind on stuff... even the little things.

I want to walk in more freedom. I believe I have religiousness in me. I can go through a check list and be very good...alot, but am I trusting is my heart resting in Jesus' love or am I just being good. I want more trust and intimacy with Jesus... I actually have been terrified about hearing His voice... but I know that He communicates in ways more than just speaking words to my mind.

I'm still figuring this whole thing out... "Hearing His voice." I know I've heard/ felt Him communicate to me. It's something that can happen in our lives alot more, He desires to be in closer fellowship with us. In a sense I feel like I am relearning who God is all over again... (and I feel like I still don't know alot... you know in my heart) while here at YWAM.

I am a pilgrim on this journey. I haven't arrived yet. But I shall know HIm as I am known now (1st Cor. 13:12)... in time...

I'm desiring more balance in my life. I have struggled with condemnation... along this path of figurin out who God is and hearing from Him. I know He loves me and what we have is a relationship not just a mold, outta which to live my life, you know a check list of do's and don'ts, that's not what relationship with God is suppose to look like, living under the law. No He died to write the truth (the fufilled law) on our hearts, to give us a heart of flesh and to live outta that new heart He has placed inside of us.

So as I decide and move onto the nest phase of my life it will be coming out of a relationship with him... an outward expression of learning to Hear Him, of learning and experiencing again How He leads and guides me. Kinda like how gentlemen gently, but firmly lead their lady around a dance floor... He is confidant in where to go... his hand is on my lower back, not rough and forced but strong and secure as He leads me through this dance called life... all I'm asked to do is look into His eyes keep my hands in His try not to step on his feet and trust Him as He leads the way...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What God did in Jamaica

So I'm sittin' here in our NYC apartment. Outside fluffy fresh snow covers everything. Such a contrast to where we were at the beginning of the month. We were in the tropical, sunny Caribean Island of Jamaica. More specifically we were in Montego Bay, St. James (the parrish) Jamaica.

We stayed there from Jan. 15th to Feb. 5th. I'd say it was the best part of my time with this base, YWAM-Manhattan. I think I could live in the Carribean;) You might think everything in the Caribbean is really nice, palm trees and sunsets but there is alot of poverty. It's a 3rd world developing country. There are homeless people and people that live in very humble dwellings...we could call alot of the homes shacks.

Jamaica does have alot of social and spiritual issues. Marijauna is a big issue... alot of people smoke it. Also about 75% of the people are born to parents that aren't married. Even though Jamaica "religiously" is more predominately a christian nation it hasn't impacted the hearts and lives enough to transform the nation, to transform the individuals.

We were hosted by an established YWAM base in MoBay. That was great to be part of a bigger community. The people on the base were awesome. I loved that part of being there... and the base had alot of space. They had grass and trees and flowers. They even had a pool and alot of places outside to hang out at!!!

Surrounding the bay is a slooping amphitheater of land. So we could look down on the bay and across at the other side to more of Jamaica. It was very beautiful! And at night it was gorgeous with the dark as a backdrop to the glowing lights of the city and sometimes a cruise ship all lit up like a christmas tree. We could see the stars at night!

Did I mention the weather!? It was wonderful. The sun was always shinning but it wasn't too hot. Because of the location of the base on the side of slooping land there was a regular breeze that kept the air moving! I loved it! and still do!

We had alot of ministry opportunites down there. We did a couple of prayer walks in neighboring communities. The communities were build around upward slooping hills. One was called Moy Hill (the incline on that "hill" was killer!) and Tower Hill. On the walk back down Tower Hill the first time we met up with kids walking home from school. I walked for quite awhile with Kaysha and Terona. I'd say they are about 10 years old. It was neat because we ended up doing some ministry at their school, tutoring and touching up murals(I did some painting with one of my team mates) and so I got to see them again a coupla more times.

We also spent a morning at a boys dentention center. That was special. We thought we were going there from 10-12 but than the schedule changed and we ended up leaving from the base to go around 9! So we had a "devo" time with the boys. We had asked God the night before what to do. We felt to do our skit, on spiritual warfare (shows the battle a girl, myself, goes through with thoughts and lies as demons cover her eyes and ears and mess with her but when her intercessors start to pray the angels of God go kick demon butt:), the skit is set to the Evanescence Song, "Wake me up Inside." Than Lissie explained the skit. Our host with the YWAM base O'Brien gave his testimony after. The boys could identify with O' Brien's past. He challenged them to come up front if they wanted to pray with him to pray for Jesus to come into their lives. About 20-30 boys went up front.

After our presentation we did a drawing project with them. So we passed out our supplies, there were maybe 40 boys that did it with us... they drew on benches, on the chairs and on the cement floor. One of the boys had me draw on the bottom of his paper... so I drew a cross and a sword and talked to him as I drew. We sat on the floor as I drew and we talked. I would say he had a faith in Jesus. I think his name was Richard. After working with him I ended up drawing on another boys paper and talking to him. I dont' think he knew much about God and Jesus so I told him some about how God wants him to be His son. He was more reserved than Richard. Also his leg was injured... and my foot had been injured so I showed him my bandage and he showed me his. We had something in common;)

I had my 26th b-day in Jamaica on the 26th of January. Actually I shared it with Lissie... she turned 28. She's from England and alot of the Jamaicans thought we were related or twins. We both have lighter long hair and -we're both fair. So on our b-day our team went to a Hospice... (actually that day our leaders left and handed the leadership of the rest of the outreach over to LIssie and me... so we were co-leaders for the rest of our time there. That was fun! and good:) Lissie and I worked very well together.) the Hospice used to be called an AIDS Hospice but it's name was changed to Hope Hospice because people were coming and improving.

So we spent the morning there. I ended up in a room with Harvey and Ranson Daley, one of my teammates, Anthony was partnered up with me. Harvey, a big guy had alot of trouble breathing. I helped him take a nebuliser (I think that's what it's called), he kept wanting to take it off, so my job was to keep moving his hand away. He hardly had any fight though... not much energy. His eyesight wasn't very good either and he couldn't hear well. It was also very hard to understand what he was saying. He wasn't doin' too well:(

The real story is with Ranson. Ranson is in his 60's. I don't know fully what his problem is but I know he had had a stroke so his left side was messed up. He laid on his right side the whole time we spent time with him. We ended up sharing the gospel with him. He kept saying he wanted to go to heaven. I would ask him very pointed questions as I was explaining the gospel to him, like do you believe this, "I believe" he'd answer back. He told me he didn't know how to read. I'm not sure how much he knew about God... but I ended up saying John 3:16 with him and he ended repeating each phrase after me... it was almost like he knew it from before. So as I'd review we'd say it together again. I had a hard time getting him to agree that he had sin... so I went out for awhile and asked Anthony to talk to him. At first Anthony said no, but when I came back Anthony had in fact talked with him and Ranson was ready to pray.

Even before going to Jamaica my roommate in NYC and I had prayed that I would lead someone to Jesus. So I got a neat birthday present. I prayed with Ranson Dalley to ask Jesus into his life. I will see him in heaven. I hope he goes there soon, the quality of his life wasn't very good. He told me at the end of our time with him that God was all around him. It was like he knew and had an understanding of spiritual things more than he was able to communicate. I don't know how clear his mind was. I remember looking into his eyes... his intent eyes and just talking with him. That was a really neat experience for me.

God did alot in us as a team and there was some really neat growth in individuals. I felt God met me in ways in personal struggles down there different than maybe any time in my life. He gave me alot of grace for a hard personal situation I had to deal with. I was surprised at how easily, after struggling through it for a awhile, I was able to get over it. It was definately God's blessing.

As a team one of the neat things God did was bring us together in unity. It's been something as a team we haven't been very strong on. We also had the chance to seek God together specifically on things and hear what He was saying. There were times that what we heard from God was very complimentary to each other! That was cool!

God led us to really having a serving heart for the base down there, they are short staffed... and they comented about the way we served. It was God opening our eyes to how we needed to change and also that that was a big part of our ministry as well to serve their base.

I love Jamaica... it wasn't always easy... it was outreach not a vacation:) The weather felt like vacation...
I know God did some neat stuff in us and through us. Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Please drop me a line. Share with me some of what you've been up to! I'd love to hear from ya'll.

So now I'm back in NYC and we're here until March 19th... doin' outreach in the city.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Jamaica Mon!"

Hey we, YWAM-Manhattan, are leaving to go to Jamaica for 3 weeks of out of state and out of country outreach! We leave this comin' up Tueday! I'm excited. We hope to work with young people down there probably in some in schools. The large majority of Jamaican's are cultural"christians". So we hope to impart to young people and whoever God brings across our paths the imporatance and reality of a truly personal relationship, a walking with God.

We'll be staying in Montego Bay. Yes it's in a resort town. It will be nice to go somewhere tropical and warmer than NYC:)

We'll be back Feb. 4th and than start our outreach here in the city. We plan on working at a youth center in Chinatown, continuing our work with Gifted Hands and ISI, Prayer Stations and also we'll probably work with a relief bus.

I'm not sure how this will work out but we want to get the NYC Relief Bus, whom we worked with last Friday, up here on our street and do relief work up here in Harlem. The driver was asking about any place in this area where they do their stuff. So tentatively we have this possibility. We worked wtih them like 5 hours last Friday.

They have a kitchen on the bus and serve soup, bread, hot chocalate to the needy and homeless. There was alot of people that came around. They were even giving out socks and jackets to people who specifially asked for that. The relief bus also has alot of info on rehab centers, homeless shelters, housing, work etc...that we can place in these people's hands. We also had free New Testaments. Most if not all the people I asked wanted one and took one... some even asked me if they could have one:) They were very open to getting the Bible.

Please keep us in your prayers I've been sick with a bad cold...I don't want to take it with me to Jamaica... We need God's help physically and His blessing on us as we minister to people in Jamaica and NYC. Drop me a line I'd love to hear from ya!

Friday, January 04, 2008

From Harlem to Jamaica

Quick update. We're goin' to Jamaica! for our away from the city outreach. We will come back after for about another 1 and half to 2 months more of outreach in the city. We'll be there for about 3 weeks. My leader will be buying the tickets tomorrow. We're not sure what we'll do down there but we'll be staying at a YWAM base. We'll either do ministry set up by the base down there or day to day go to God and ask Him what He wants us to do. We'll be in Montego Bay. I've seen some pictures. It is beautiful! I'm ready for some warm weather.

Today we worked with a Relief bus. Kinda like a soup kitchen on wheels. We worked with them for like 5 hours. We got COLD... I cut up like 10 loaves of bread from a bakery that they passed out with cups of soup and hot chocolate... also I helped at the table outside where they hand out some info to the people coming by.

The ministry we worked with is established so people know that they come out. There was one guy I talked to a bit...he was in an adult body but was almost like a kid. He was quiet and there was an innocence or actually like a fear to him that pulls him back from the world in the way he carried himself. Seeing him made me sad... it feels like he's been through some bad pain. I don't know though. He lives with his mother. He stood by the chain link fence running along the road where the bus was parked for maybe a coupla hours...eating soup and hangin' out. Hardly talking to people. I talked to him a bit but he even stuttered too.

Being with the bus and outside as long as we were and getting soo cold made me thankful for shelter. We experienced a small taste of what it's like to be homeless in NYC... most of the time your not exposed to the cold for a long period of time but because we were serving those people we were outside for a long time. It was our feet that got cold the most...

The guy that drove the bus drove us back to our street and when we got out of the bus for probably all of us it hurt to walk... some of us girls got back filled up a bath tub with warm water and we had a mass foot soaking party. It was fun!

So we're gonna go from the frosty freezin' streets of Harlem to the balmy breezy beaches of Jamaica. I am ready for it! Bring on the sun and the warmth!!!:)