Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I just finished a class at the church on Sunday nights about Spiritual gifts. A few weeks ago we had a homework question that said, "If you could do anything and not fail at it, what would it be?"

A couple things came to mind within the first few minutes of reading but I actually started to get a little freaked out within the next couple days when my mind wandered back to the question. Soon I started to think, "Do I really dream anymore?".

I've felt too caught up in the details of life lately. Little things that come to mind plant a seed of stress or worry and they find their way down a terrible spiral path we'll call 'frustration and fear'.

When I was thinking about this post today I started feeling so much peace and a really sweet release as I realized that there's a bigger picture than what I've worried about today.

A week or two after reading that homework question, I finally answered a couple days ago.
If I could do anything and not fail at it I would be a wife and mom (a home-maker, too), a counselor to teen girls and young women in crisis (specifically in a home environment). I would travel (and love every minute of it) but live in Gettysburg (because I love that place even more). I would be involved in discipleship and outreach. I would be a family focused person. I would have a huge and very soft heart for the church, the lost, friends, prayer, and ministering by the work of the Holy Spirit.

I can't describe the amount of peace I'm experiencing writing this down and making little modifications today. Before starting this post I was feeling a lot of stress and even some hopelessness being so caught up in detail after detail, thought of inadequacy after thought of inadequacy. But God will equip me and I can trust Him.

Not because I'm just waiting till [fill in some far off date] to start enjoying life... but because I can enjoy life now, love the Lord now, love people more sacrificially and more deeply now. I can embrace opportunity to learn and develop the gifts and even character qualities I really, really need to live in all that beauty up there to the best of my potential.

Whew. It is good to dream. :)

(Life Formations)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Comforter & Sustainer.

Two words that describe the Lord.
During this fasting time for Harvest Cry I've realized they're two words I often place as the identity of the food I consume each day.

Food is great and I am so glad (as I think about things like mexican food and thai food) that God created us to need food to survive... His design is so good... but there needs to be a shift in the way I think, or a refocusing of some sort, when food is more than just food to me. 

Especially when it becomes what I rely on, what I trust to be comforted, what I trust to be sustained.

In the book of Matthew, chapter 4, Jesus was in "a place of extreme hunger" after fasting for forty days and forty nights. The devil took advantage of that hunger as he tested Jesus. In the first test, as the Message Bible puts it, the devil said, "Since you are God's Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread."

Verse four states: Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: 
"It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."

or as we've more often heard it:
‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

There's a bigger lesson in this than food. 
This is my prayer tonight:

That as long as I live I would never rely..
... on money, more than on God, for my family.
... on myself, more than on God's equipping, for ministry.
... on what I can see, rather than on faith, for following God in obedience.
... on what I can do, rather than on God's pure and faithful love, for the way I know He thinks about me.

Life holds so many opportunities for us to choose new things to be satisfied by or new things to rely on. Sometimes that's our own understanding... or maybe it's a place of financial security or social status. But the Word of God is what breathes life into us. Real, lasting, joy-filled life. Life that is not conquered by hunger or fear or lies of the enemy. 

This is the life that belongs to us. Praise the Lord. 

Man should not live on bread alone... but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

(Life Formations)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strong and Happy.

This was a really special weekend.
My Dad and I agreed this morning, Friday afternoon was a time we'll never forget.
As he put it,  "Having you all there, laughing, puzzles, talking about Utley (what else)...etc. Made me strong and happy." I feel the same way. Perfect afternoon.

The sweetest memories are made with family. Nothing better than being with them.
As a "mini-spring-break", I went home to Camp Hill early Friday morning and returned this evening to Gettysburg. Walking up the drive way yesterday morning I simply said "Camp Hill" breathed in and smiled. God gives me a beautiful sense of my "roots" every time I go home.

Coming through the front door, I was greeted by some of my favorite faces, big hugs, and the morning busy-ness that made me glad I was no longer the one making everyone late for school.

(Not the expressions we would have had those late-mornings)
I love the home I was raised in. There's a real warmth and welcome as soon as you walk in the front door. It meant the world to me getting to share that this weekend.

Friday afternoon was especially precious in the course of the past few days, for reasons I'll write about soon enough. Now I'm just kind of basking in the goodness of those reasons. :)

This weekend there was so much reflection on God's timing, the beauty of family, and His faithful provision... man oh man, God is good to us.

Got a little teary eyed tonight driving home from church and ice cream with friends thinking about how special people are.
Love you, family. Thanks for always sending me back to Gettysburg refreshed and full of love.

Excited about the new season God is bringing all of us into and so grateful that I'm a 'Chase'.

(Life Formations)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This Year. (Life Form.)

Over Christmas break, while home with my family, I started praying about what 'my 2011' would be called*. A few days before the new year came, the Lord gave me the name "A year of vision and relationships". At first, to be honest, I was a little unsure if that was right. It seemed pretty general... like naming a year "A year of stuff and people".

I was wrong. Sometimes I'm a little too skeptical. :) But I believed with it and the next few days I was amazed by the way each prayer time ended up focusing on one of two things: My vision (for ministry or my future in general) and the relationships in my life (how I relate to the people around me). Without an effort on my part to focus on these things... the Holy Spirit just kept taking me back to them.

That pattern has continued. The Lord has been doing some truly wonderful things in both these areas since I returned to Gettysburg in the beginning of January.
I've become more aware than ever about the way I communicate. That's led to some incredibly positive change in me. New relationships have been building in my life that are really fantastic... the kind that challenge me, in the best way, to be more like Christ.. and more like 'the Bonnie' God made me to be. Gentle, honest, loving, a dream chaser, to name a few. It's been really good. So thankful for good friends and much to look forward to. :)

Gettysburg has become home for me. Even before moving here back in August, God was developing a heart for it's people in me. I'm honored to be a part of Gettysburg Master's Commission, I believe our name takes hold of the promise we have for impact in our town. God's bringing my focus back to drawing people to Christ, rather than doing good things or getting stuff done. From counseling to prayer ministry, to discipleship... the Lord gives me sweet little tastes of the truth that the way he's made me fits perfectly with the ministries He's called me to. Very grateful for his purposeful design and for incredible opportunity.

God is doing good things in Gettysburg, good things in me, good things with people. Love that I get to be a part of it and experience his heart in all these areas.

The past few days have felt pretty "battle-like". I think this is a good place for me to get back to tonight. Back to the foundation of what God is doing. You are really so good.. so kind.. so faithful, God. You bring me to a place of peace and rest. This kind of reflection reminds me how good it will be to spend the rest of my life with You... even in the battles.

*"Naming your year" is a kind of prophetic exercise... seeking God for a name that shows you what He wants to do in you and through you in the year ahead. Brad Leach wrote about it here