i miss lily more than words can express. its fascinating what one person can do for the scope of your life and how the lack of their constant presence can change your world. lily has this uncanny ability to brighten up a day and to make any mundane task or circumstance into something to laugh at. she drives me to grow up and be a woman and utilize the talents that God has blessed me with. she inspires me to work hard and to not take my blessing for granted. she loves me for me, every version of me. she accepts and challenges my thinking and listens like no one i have ever known. i love her and her honesty with both herself and others. i miss her joyful smile and her making me coffee in the morning and using up all the creamer but always buying more. i miss our pillow talks when going to bed and i love how we are always on the same wavelength. this is such a silly rant because i am seeing her tomorrow, but i miss living with her and i miss having her around all the time. i miss my best friend, but the cool thing is is that that will never change. this has been what has been weighing on my heart the past few days. i am lucky to have a friend like lil. sincerely, sienna

gotta catch em all

or rather, you can’t catch them all, but you sure as heck want to.

i can’t please everyone, as much as i want to. everyone will have their opinion on how i am to live my life but the only thing i can do is love the Lord with my whole heart and seek to glorify him above all else. if i can do that and follow his commands, i am in his will and his wants will be mine. the simplicity of this promise is fantastic and it is the only thing i can stand on. 

i have run into this before a few years ago, when life handed me disapproval and doubt. however, seeking the lord i found more peace than i could have found in the affirmation and approval of others. so thank you God for your clarity and love. thank you for the freedom you have given me to by myself in my fullness of You. 

View me, Lord, a work of thine!
Shall I then lie downed in night?
Might thy grace in me but shine,
I should seem made all of light.

Cleanse me, Lord, that I may kneel 
At thine altar pure and white;
They at once thy mercies feel,
Gaze no more on earth’s delight.

Worldly joys like shadows fade
When the heavenly light appears;
But the covenants Thou hast made,
Endless, know not days nor years.

In thy word, Lord, is my trust,
To thy mercies fast I fly;
Though I am but clay and dust,
Yet thy grace can lift me high.

-Thomas Campion

the struggle to be the best.

i suppose i admit my struggle. i always want to be the best. the one who loves everything the most..the most unique of them all. the best defense to this is prayer and no longer finding my identity in meaningless temporary things. and yet, it has been a lifelong struggle.

the core of this is pride, how to lessen my pride is a different struggle entirely. the art of dying to oneself is never easy, and I’ve written about it many times. i yearn to take every thought captive, but i let my toxic thoughts roam free until they create conflict within myself and towards others. i am frustrated with myself and desire so deeply to no longer be held in bondage by the fickle drug of pride.

pain is a catalyst for growth. growth in what way, i am not sure. but here i am lord, painfully enduring what you have placed at my feet. i know because of your beautiful promises that this pain will further conform me to the likeness of your son. so thanks for that..

christmas eve;

this night was filled with all the feels i could have felt. for a while now i have felt not cherished i guess. not in the ways i would expect or want. it is silly really since i am so loved and i know it..but i guess every girl has her emotional thoughts. sometimes i feel like no matter what i do it is not matter how much i love or care or try or endure.. i dont get the results or the accolades or the affection. its silly.

however tonight i was once again reminded about the reason for why i live, not to bring glory or love to myself or to give love to receive it, but to completely love others because i was loved first by a God who has created me, redeemed me, and loved me. it is christmas, and for this reason christ was born: to die so that i may live. to die so that through my feelings of being unwanted and not cherished, i can look to the cross and see a love that is undying and forever lingering. he died so that i can remember that i am loved, and i will be with him and his love forever.

so merry christmas…may this spirit of christmas and what it represents be carried in our hearts all year.

"here am i, send me"

found my gem of a north african notebook today. i read through the whole thing and entertained a visit from glenn which snapped me back to a time where my faith was tested, my love was encouraged and my friendships strengthened. tonight commences the service process all over again. here am i ready once again to be molded, shaped, and sent. the experiences i had in north africa will never be paralleled which i am so thankful for. it gave me a taste of the world and helped me see through God’s eyes. i am so stinking excited for where i am going to be sent. tonight, i find out where i am going and my team and i know that i will be used to bring Him glory. 

Lord what do you have for me? where are you taking me? what plans do you have for my growth? keep your promise please, mold me in your hands and conform me to the likeness of your precious son and my savior. Oh Lord, you are so good. may this trip oversees be nothing but a beacon of your goodness. 

dreams and thankfulness.

for the first time in my life, i feel like i have a direction..a plan fueled by desires to glorify God with my talents. i don’t think i’ve ever had genuine desires such as these. it is such a peaceful feeling to know that no matter where i go or which bridges i cross, the lord will be glorified and i will be used for it. i am thankful for His peace, His peace that really does surpass all understanding. when everything around me tells me that i should be fearful and doubting, everything inside of me screams the opposite. there is a deep rooted peace that can never be shaken despite plans that go awry. 

to be fulfilled by the Lord is an AWEsome thing. as in, i am in complete awe of his promise to give me life, and life abundantly. in His presence there is fulness of joy…this is the absolute truth. only in His presence is there joy. all other sources of falsified truth will never manifest the same peaceful joy that God’s grace and goodness can provide. i am thankful for that. thankful that because of calvary, i am able to have peace in his presence. we sing a song in choir called holy of holies and one of the lyrics states that the cross is where justice met grace. that is a perfect depiction of the sacrifice that Christ made for us. the justice that we rightfully deserved was taken upon a man..and through that man, God’s grace was able to be bestowed upon us. 

we dont deserve any love, any grace, anything. we do not need temporary satisfaction nor do we need instant gratification. the only love that we need is a sacrificial love, a love that is a gift, given freely. we are in want of nothing more. 

my biggest dream is to never lose sight of these truths again. that they would be completely rooted at my core and never be replaced. its not as much a dream as it is a prayer. 

"i’m singing spirit take me up in arms with you"

God through the confusion, through the beauty, through the absence, through the despair, through the joy, through the hunger and through the chaos you are always worthy to be praised. i will sing your praises because it is all i can do. 

days of thanks.

lets continue with lily.

lets just get this out of the way and start with the clothes. your style is unmatchable and you relate on that level with me like no other. my beautiful lily pad, i love you more than most things. one of the most amazing things about you is your ability to love, despite bad choices people make or despite the ways they’ve hurt you. you always take me as i am, broken, joyful, annoyed, excited…anything. that is such an admirable, christlike, character trait that is so rare to find, and i for sure dont have it. you love because you know grace, you encourage because you know the one true God and it radiates through your every being. one of my favorite things about you is that you are the best listener i’ve ever met. you will listen, and generally be interested and empathetic. not just to me, no, but you will listen to everyone no matter how trivial their problems/triumphs may seem. you stay up until the wee hours of the night just to talk to someone about christ and help them through a tough time..dont think those little things go unnoticed lily, because they dont. i notice your love for people, genuine love. something else i love about you lil is that our friendship is much so that we are so much more like sisters. you demand nothing out of your friendships which makes me want to give you everything. the times i spend with you are some of the most joyful and relaxing experiences… i can do anything with you lily and you make even the most mundane of tasks into a laugh fest. you basically stress about nothing and are honest about everything. you dont share things so openly, so i have had the privilege of getting to know you over this long period of time and because you’ve opened up so much, i feel so absolutely special. i know that you trust me and i do not take that lightly. i am so honored to be one of you best friends lil and there is not a doubt in my mind you will be standing up there next to me on my wedding day. your love and grace is something i always strive to imitate and if i could only encourage like you, i would be a better person. i love you lily pad, so very much.