Category Archives: Life

5 Things I Learned In November

5 things I learned in november

1. I actually really like wearing scarves. I found one from fashionABLE (if you’re not already familiar with them, you should definitely check them out!) this year that I love and have been wearing constantly. And I have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

2. I started reading the Mary Poppins book series and they are crazy fun! It’s one of my all-time favorite movies, so I have no idea why I haven’t ever read the books before. AND, did you know that there’s a new movie coming out (Saving Mr. Banks) about the author of Mary Poppins and how the story got turned into a movie? I’m a little excited about it!

3. My theology is less than perfect. Sometimes I fear it may be more than just a little out of whack. But God is still sovereign. And there’s sweet grace in the correction.

4. The afternoon at the barn with Emily P. Freeman and her sister, the Nester, and their families was so worth it. If you haven’t read my post about it yet, you should. And now I’m trying to figure out how to make available a few hours of more intentional soul space on a regular basis. Because it’s important. And necessary.

5. One of the things I am most thankful for (all the time really, but especially in this current season) is the constancy of Christ.

What did you learn in November?

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*linking up today with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned in November*

This is the Art I Live Everyday

Have you ever had one of those moments when you were just completely and utterly overwhelmed by the Gospel?

By its truth, by its fullness, by its richness, by its completeness, by its beauty, by its perfection?

Last night, I had just such a moment.

Yesterday was my birthday (yes, my birthday is on Halloween), and it had been a pretty wonderful day full of life-giving words and thoughtful blessings from friends and family. I mean, my brother wrote me a poem. In Middle English. More-or-less about the Sovereignty of God. Which I love! And he mailed it to me on stationary. He also included a Starbucks gift card…he knows me well.

I’m a words girl. Word of affirmation is my love language. My heart was full!

this is the art i live everyday

But as I arrived at Bible Study last night, I had no idea how my heart would be so full to overflowing by the end of the evening.

To begin with, my Bible Study group of women that I love dearly surprised me with a cake…complete with candles, y’all! And when I say I was surprised, I am so not kidding. I did not see that one coming!

But then as we continued our study of John (we’re on our third consecutive semester, Precept style), as we looked carefully at John 14 and how through Jesus Christ we have full and total access to God the Father, I was literally blown away by the truth and the reality of the Gospel.

I know this sounds ridiculously simple and basic, but this Gospel is just so eternally complete and perfect.

And to realize that we can’t DO anything to be saved through this Gospel, that all that is required of us is to ask and believe, yet it compels us, out of pure love and devotion, to know Christ, to trust Him, to please Him, to obey Him (because obedience is HIS love language)?

I can barely even begin to wrap my mind around it! It’s just THAT good!

So I found myself praying this prayer…

God,
We know You are good, and You are faithful, and You are true.
Thank You for loving us first.
Thank You for providing the way of confident and sure access to Your throne.
And thank You for that way not being an accident nor a surprise to You.
You have a purpose and a plan from beginning to end.
And we know it is perfectly complete … carefully crafted and thought out and executed.
And we praise You for that!
Thank you for Your presence that goes before us and walks with us.
Help us in our everyday as we lean into You, as we trust You, as we follow You, as we obey You.
Thank you for Your radical grace. Thank You for Your presence. Thank You for the new covenant through Your Son, Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice.
May the truth of Your Gospel never cease to overwhelm and amaze!
Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief!
In Christ’s Name,
Amen

This Gospel.

THIS is the art I live everyday!

“Every step we are breathing in Your grace.
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise.
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.”
– Never Once by Matt Redman

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we-will-make-art

*linking up with Emily P. Freeman of chatting at the sky for we will make art*

I’m Headed Back to Guatemala … in Less Than 12 Hours!

That’s right. I’m headed back to Guatemala … and my flight leaves crazy early tomorrow morning.

I’m so looking forward to seeing and hugging some friends from the last trip in February, reconnecting with some ministry contacts on the ground, and meeting and serving with this whole new team that the Lord has brought together (seriously, we have prayed HARD at several different points in the process for this specific team that the Lord has gathered!).

But really, I’m mostly looking forward to just being in the Lord’s presence in Guatemala again and to joining Him where He’s already at work there.

headed back to guatemala

A few weeks ago, I began to feel incredibly uncertain about this trip. I could not for the life of me think of one good reason why I was going. I have no doubt it was the enemy attempting to get in the way.

But the Lord has been so faithful to remind me in small and subtle ways … through His word, through prayer and communion with Him, through His people … of exactly why I’m going. As if I should ever expect anything less.

When I left Guatemala in February, I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart and a piece of myself there. I fell in love with that place, and more importantly, with its people. I had no idea if I would ever have the opportunity to go back. But the impression on my heart the whole way home was that if God opened a door for me to go back, I needed to walk through it. I just had no idea that door would be flung so wide open so soon!

So, I still don’t know the specifics of why I’m going to Guatemala for the next five days. But who needs that anyways? I know without a doubt this trip is a step taken in both obedience and faith. And that’s a pretty sweet and freeing place to be.

I’m expecting God to work in big ways … in HIS ways … even if they aren’t big by my standards. And I’m expecting to serve Him according to HIS plans … even if they aren’t at all like my own.

This trip is His, and I can’t wait to see how He furthers His kingdom in and through it.

Would you join me in praying for this trip?

that this team the Lord has gathered would serve as one,
that the Lord would go before us and walk beside us the whole way,
that we would have eyes to see where the Lord is working and willing hearts to join Him there,
that we would love and serve those around us with Christ’s perfect love and servant heart,
that in the moments when we fear our own inadequacy and weakness we would immediately lay our fears at the feet of Jesus and press on in His strength and power,
that lives would be changed, that souls would be redeemed,
and that the name of Jesus would be boldly proclaimed in all that we say and do!

Thank you so much for partnering with us in this way. Prayer is so powerful and it truly means more than I can adequately express to know there are so many people lifting up this trip who are equipped with that sort of power!

I am not planning to blog while in Guatemala, and internet access will definitely be limited, but if I’m able, I will post updates on twitter (@emily_gallimore) and/or instagram (@egallimore), and I will look forward to sharing more in this space once we return home.

5 Things I Learned in September

5Things - student ministry

1. I can survive a high school ministry lock-in as a leader. And though I may be a little more tired than usual for the following few days, I can love every minute of it because I love them. From the Amazing Race to the GaGa ball tournament to the straight up Gospel presentation at about 1am to the fabulous conversations, we couldn’t have asked for a better night!

2. All “Johnnies” pretty much talk the same. I’m reading “Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World” by N.D. Wilson (who obtained his masters degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD) and it sounds just like having a great conversation with my big brother (who obtained his undergrad degree from St. John’s).

3. Speaking of reading, I’ve discovered how much I really enjoy being a part of book launch teams. Three books in about six weeks (just wait. two more book reviews are coming over the next couple of weeks.) may have been a bit much, but still, all kinds of fun. Working with such generous and genuine authors and having the opportunity to read and share about good books is pretty much a win all the way around.

4. All of my commitments have come under serious scrutiny this month. Basically because I may have slightly over-committed and needed to scale back before I burned-out. So I’ve learned (or maybe I’m still learning…) that what I say “yes” to is important, but what I say “no” to is often equally as important.

And so although it makes me feel a little sad and a little left out, I’m saying no to writing another 31 Days series this October (previous series can be found here and here).

I’ve got a lot going on right now (including going back to Guatemala for a 5 day mission trip next month. woot!), and this is a necessary “no” for my sanity and restedness.

5. And this became one of my favorite songs:

“Our Deliverer. You are Savior. In Your presence we find our strength. Over everything. Our redemption. God with us. You are God with us.”
– God With Us (by All Sons and Daughters)

What did YOU learn in September?

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*linking up today with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as her community shares different things we learned in September*

When You Realize Writing is Not Actually Your Dream

I saw the invite – a save the date, really – and immediately checked my calendar to make sure the day was still free. It was the last time I checked (when there was only the hint of an event), but I had to be certain.

Because when Emily Freeman started talking about this Barn event – an afternoon At the Barn with her family and a relatively small gathering to spend time in soul-encouraging conversation about art, dreams, goals – all I could think was YES.

I’m in.

when you realize writing is not actually your dream

But as I purchased the ticket, I couldn’t help but also stop and think about how I now find myself taking all kinds of risks (of the best kind) with community and events and opportunities – like spending an afternoon with a bunch of fellow blog readers or spending five days getting Wrecked in Guatemala with complete strangers … and then doing it again six months later. All because of this gift of blogging which began as an extension of this gift of writing.

And it’s all in the very same season that I find myself pulling back on the frequency of posts and re-evaluating the purpose of this space.

A couple of months ago, I wasn’t even sure if I should continue blogging. This community is small and I’m not always convinced my words are necessary additions to the noise of this world.

But this community is also growing, and opportunities keep crossing my path to connect with other artists and other Jesus-followers as a result.

And I just know.

It’s not time to give-up this blogging thing yet.

Someday, God may ask that of me, but as I’ve been praying over and carefully considering whether or not that time is now, although the sitting-still long enough to think and write has been hard lately, I find I’m not finished here yet.

I want this space to be a place of restful harbor, filled with peace, where God speaks.

And more than anything, I want to honor and glorify Him in and through it.

So this community is small and the growth is slow.

But it’s His. And it’s good.

I began this blog a little over three years ago with a thought in the back of my mind that someday I might like to publish a book of some sort, but I could go ahead and start blogging without knowing if that would ever happen. I could begin sharing the message that the Lord had placed on my heart. I didn’t have to wait for that.

But somewhere along the way, I began to realize that while writing is a part of me and is a craft that I both love and enjoy, writing (or perhaps more specifically, publishing) wasn’t actually my dream.

The only problem? I didn’t know what was.

But all I knew to do was to keep writing, to keep taking small steps in obedience and faithfulness, and to keep seeking the Lord’s face.

Because that’s always right.

And through the writing, I kept sensing that there was something in all of this, something that I couldn’t quite figure out, something that I still needed to learn.

So now in this season, as my dreams and goals for this life are shifted and refined, I’m beginning to see at least a part of that something.

I’ve sought hard and waited long for the sort of dream I’m now beginning to consider. The one that in intentionally broad and vague terms revolves around orphan care (and no, I don’t know exactly what that means or what it will look like), the one that is so far beyond me and my ability, the one that scares the heck out of me, and the one that feels more like a God-whisper than anything I could dare to imagine on my own.

I’m not against the idea of publishing if that’s where the Lord leads and I suspect this won’t be the last times my dreams undergo some refining, but I also know this dream that’s slowly unveiling finally feels like mine. Like something only the Lord could have orchestrated and begun to reveal. And that makes it worth wanting and working toward and continuing to figure out … because it’s really only just a glimpse of a fuller vision. A hint of what could be.

So I’ll continue to write and I’ll continue to blog in this space.

And I’ll continue to lead and encourage this community to draw near to Christ.

To seek Him more. To know Him more. To trust Him more. To rest in Him more.

Because nothing – no amount of dreaming regardless of how right the dream seems – in this life matters more.

5 Things

1. Coffee shop conversation is my love language.

5Things

2. This quote has been swirling around my mind since I read it several days ago:

“So we don’t risk at random, jumping off any cliff. We risk jumping obediently where God says to jump.” – Jennie Allen

See the whole context in this post.

3. Apparently starting too many new things at once makes me anxious. Logically, I know there’s no good reason for the anxiety. And while I’m learning some good coping mechanisms (for the record, good sleep does wonders for restored perspective!), really, this hasn’t been something I’ve been able to fully attack on my own.

I’m beyond serious when I say I think there’s been an element of spiritual warfare in this. I’m entering into a new season of ministry (in more than one area), and I’m SO excited about all of it, but it’s also not something I can do on my own. Each ministry I’m involved in requires absolute dependence on Christ. Which is awesome. In the truest sense of the word. But I’m thinking the enemy cannot be too pleased with this heightened awareness of my desperate, moment-by-moment need to walk by the Spirit, and he seems to have been working on overdrive to fire his flaming arrows my way as a result.

But oh, the power of prayer in the midst! And when I have no idea what to pray, simply saying the name of Jesus over and over again is somehow enough. And perhaps more powerful than anything else I could possibly think to add.

4. After two weeks of complete silence in this space, I’m back at blogging and there’s some good stuff coming in September … starting Tuesday, so be sure to check back then!

5. And this. Because Jesus is so good, and we don’t even make sense apart from Him:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – Jesus
John 15:5 (ESV)

5 Things

5 Things

1) This photo. Summer colors and sunshine. Amen.

2) Moving has as much to do with the heart as it is a physical act. I’m still learning.

3) My blogging schedule is clearly a mess these days (refer to #2). I intend to get back to Tuesday / Friday posts soon. But giving myself a little grace through the end of the summer to get back into a good rhythm.

4) The anniversary of my little brother’s death is coming up on Monday, July 29th. It’s been 11 years. That sounds like such an anti-climactic number, but I always seem to find myself a little more contemplative in the weeks surrounding this date. I never really know how I’m going to react on the anniversary day itself. I just can’t always anticipate how grief will look, but I’m still learning to just ride the waves as they come.

5) I am a hot mess of runaway thoughts and emotions these days. And the more I try to control it, the more out of control I feel. I hate it and I love it. Hate it because it’s wildly uncomfortable. But love it because it forces me to Jesus in a whole new way. And that’s really precious.

As a words person, it pains me to not be able to exactly describe what I mean. But I just can’t. I’m not sure I even fully understand. I just know it’s like I’m walking in this deep and intentional relationship, and when I miss spending time with Him, I feel like I can’t breathe quite right. Because He’s my constant and my rest and my relief and my all. He physically calms me. Though I’m still trying to figure out how to hold onto that calm for a little longer throughout each day. And I’m still learning how to react to situations in a manner that reflects His presence well.

But I’m more desperate for Him and more dependent on Him. I feel like I’m getting life all wrong, but He’s so near. So I’m literally attempting to walk right on His heels just to stay near Him and to know where to go next. Though from that place right on His heels, all I can really see is Him. And while that means I don’t know much at all about where we’re headed, I trust it’s good.

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*07/31/13 update: I didn’t plan on using this post to link up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky for her “what we learned in July” linky, but I realized that I repeated the phrase “I’m still learning…” several times, so I’m thinking it counts! Thanks for stopping by!*