Monday, April 16, 2012

I can't lose it

Last night I dreamed my husband cheated on me.

First, I should establish that I never dream. Or rather, I never remember dreams. Apparently everyone dreams, some scientist somewhere asserted that. But I've found I sleep so deeply that once I'm awake, I have no recollection of dreaming...not even a vague haze of something. I've had 5 dreams my whole life, I can tell you about each one if you'd like.

Last night I had a dream that my husband cheated on me. I won't give you details but I can assure you that it was soap opera, twisted kind of stuff. In my dream, my husband and I were in the car, and he was telling me what happened. I was so shocked, appalled, and angry that I woke myself up. I turned over in my bed to look at my husband and struggled with an intense hatred for a long time. I kept telling myself "You were dreaming Sarah. It didn't happen"...but it felt real. That's another caveat to my dreams, the few that I have had have been extremely detailed and real...almost like memories.

I couldn't stop thinking about what Curtis had told me in my dream, envisioning what his cheating looked like, and it made me want to scream. I thought back to the dream, how we were both in the car, and thought about all the things I would do in that instance...the things I would say, how I'd demand he stop the car so I could get out, how I'd lock him out of the I didn't have anyone to turn to, to seek help from.

Couple with this that I'm still trying to come to terms with my husband's previous relationships, my own self-esteem issues, and the overwhelming sense that I have no skill when it comes to the marriage bed...

put all that together and you may understand why it's hard for me to hold it together. Why I refuse to think about any of this at all, so I won't fall apart. Why I willingly work long hours, why I keep everyone at arms length, why I distract myself with tv shows and movies for hours and hours.

It hurts and it overwhelms and I can't let it drown me. Even though I know there is healing and rest and renewal in the arms of Christ, I push Him out too. I can't drown. I can't admit that there is something wrong. I can't lose control.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Renewal for the city. Dignity and honor. Self-respect and productivity. Pursuit of life and happiness. The ReWork organization was created to facilitate and grow all of these things specifically for the homeless community in Austin, Texas.

The goal is complete renewal of the person through meeting needs and promoting personal growth. ReWork creates a space of creativity, allowing men and women to use the knowledge they already have in woodworking, sewing, and other pursuits, or teaching them these skills so that they can have some kind of income. ReWork has the space, the tools, the materials, and the volunteers well-versed in each category and ReWork invites the homeless in to participate. ReWork Gallery will be a storefront that puts these products produced by the homeless up for sale...each person retains 100% of income from these sales. ReWork believes that teaching these trades enables individuals to continue to support themselves no matter where they are, as well as giving purpose and meaning where perhaps there wasn't before.

ReWork also has a computer lab equipped with a printer and telephone. Men and women can create resumes, search for jobs, receive online training (for example, TABC certification or Food Handlers), as well as print applications and call businesses or family. Volunteers are also available to help create or edit resumes, complete applications, or search for jobs.

In the works

Currently ReWork is equipping itself to have showers and a washer/dryer setup. This would allow men and women to prepare for interviews, and just gain a little dignity and self-respect. The benefit of a good shower is something everyone can understand.

ReWork is already functioning and making real impacts on the lives of many in the homeless community...but there is a long way to go to complete everything the organization wishes to do. There is a lot of need for volunteers.

Pick up Army

Volunteers are needed that have large vehicles, preferably trucks, that can carry materials from drop off points to the ReWork facility. ReWork constantly has a large influx of donations, but lacks the ability to gather all materials as they are available. These volunteers would be on a call list and when a shipment is ready, a leader at ReWork would call down the list to see who was available to pick it up. Volunteers would be utilized on an as-needed basis.

Desired amount - 20

Homeless Advocates

Most of the homeless that ReWork interacts with are men and women that have been forced into homelessness because of circumstances or lack of family to help them. Many men and women would like to be reunited with family, need new copies of identification, need help creating a resume or finding a job or finding a housing situation.

This volunteer homeless advocate would spend some one on one time with one or two men/women. It's important to learn that person's story, in order to help them the best. Once the needs are clearly outlined, the advocate would most likely spend a lot of time on the phone, online, seeking out the information that is needed.

Because this volunteer position has the homeless advocate working very closely with men/women that have already been taken advantage of many times, a background check is required as well as some training. ReWork is happy to provide all homeless advocates with as much resources, training, and help that they need.

Desired amount -

Gallery Volunteers

This is basically retail work. In shifts of 3 or 4 hours, volunteers would sell the items put up in the gallery. Of course, volunteers would be handling money as well as doing mild cleaning or organizing.

Currently the gallery is not up and running but ReWorks hopes to have it operational sometime in April.

Desired amount -

General Volunteers

This is perhaps ReWork's greatest need right now. There is so much organizing, cleaning, building, etc still needing to be done in the ReWork facility, and not enough people available to do it. Anyone and everyone can volunteer in this capacity. If someone is more detail oriented, there are tasks for that. If someone is better at moving big and heavy things, there is definitely tasks for that. If someone has a specialization, say electricity, there is definitely tasks for that. More than anything, ReWork needs helping hands on a daily basis to engage with the homeless as they come in, build relationships with them, and help ReWork become more equipped to do all that it is designed to do.

Desired amount -

How to be a Volunteer

Fill out the form below with your name, number, email, and availability as well as any special desires or areas to work in.

Come to the Volunteer Orientation on April 15th at 3pm at Soma Austin Community Church 4201 S Congress Ave.

Email Sarah Boyd at

Sunday, March 11, 2012

KONY 2012

I just finished watching the KONY 2012 video created by the non profit Invisible Children.

There's been a lot of chatter about this video and about the issue it brings up all over twitter, facebook, memes, etc. A lot of blind participation, a lot of informed opinions, and a lot of critiques from those for and against the video or the organization.

Here's what it boils down you believe that anyone should hurt a child? Do you think it is ok for children to run scared from their homes because they will be kidnapped? Do you think it is alright for a child to be forced to kill their parents? Do you think it is acceptable for young girls to be passed around an army for sexual favors?

Kony is just a man. We can arrest him, kill him and another man will just rise up in his place. This is bigger than just one man.

Stopping Kony is not enough. With Kony out of the way, 300 other evil men will have the chance to rise up again. We can't win this war with just military strength...we have to change the game. There has to be education for these children, there has to be police to keep them safe, there has to be a stable environment where evil is pursued and stopped.

We can't just update our statuses.

We can't just call our representatives.

We can't just march in our cities.

We can't just send troops.

Do you understand? All of these things are not enough. History will continue to repeat itself.

We have to go.

We have to leave our homes and go where this chaos lives and we have to love and protect and change the game ourselves. We cannot fix the situation isolated from the problem.

This is a war that requires our lives. It requires that we live our lives fighting for the innocent, for those that can't fight for themselves. It requires that we be willing to die in order that another may live.

How many of you who have updated your status have actually bought the Action Kit the video talks about? How many have plans to canvas their city on April 20th with the posters and stickers provided? How many have donated money? How many have called their representative?

How many are going? How many are so infuriated by the images that they saw that they are selling all they have and moving to make a difference?

Words without actions are worth nothing.

What can one person do? What impact can one person have? One person can give his/her life in order to protect or save another...and that is a huge impact.

Monday, January 2, 2012


This past year has been crazy.

I moved to Austin with my family, got a job at Chuy's, started attending Soma Austin Church.

I met my husband!

February 1st, to be exact. We started dating March 14, he proposed May 25, and we got married November 26.

By far, that is the greatest blessing of the whole year. After reflecting over the year, remembering my own nature...I almost believe God put me with my husband because "someone has to knock some sense into her!" Not that God hasn't knocked sense into me many's kind of my learning style I guess. Marriage is kind of like's awesome and there are immediate and longterm benefits but there are times when you are out of breath and sweaty and exhausted and it's not any fun at all.

In 2009 I finally surrendered myself after 20 years of God begging, pleading, wooing, chasing, and fighting me. In 2010 I learned the way God created humans, how we are created for obedience, to bring God glory, to be filled with His Spirit. I learned to be strong in prayer, not only intercessing for my family or friends, but complete strangers I passed, customers, acquaintances, and people in other countries. I learned what it truly means to pray without ceasing, constantly on the phone with God. I learned to love His voice, His Spirit and to long to be in His presence in heaven. God revealed parts of myself, my sin nature, my greed, my selfishness that I refused to see before. God also revealed who He created me to be, a very distinct picture of the woman He would grow me into...oh how exciting that was! I always wanted to be great, to prove to everyone else that I was worth something and that I could change the world. I had it twisted around, but that desire to change the world was from Him! Because He wanted to use me to change the world for Him, to bring Him glory, to bring His kingdom on earth! The Almighty Lord of the world wants to use me! He has plans already laid out for me and they fulfill me like no other plans of my own could!

Unfortunately, that was 2010...kind of my honeymoon period with the Lord. Come 2011 and all the spiritual habits I had developed out of a desire to seek His face were broken. Suddenly I didn't want to pray without ceasing, because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Slowly, I stopped praying for other countries, friends I had left behind, and I never developed friendships here in Austin that I would feel obligated to pray for. I had started discipling a young girl towards the end of 2010, and once 2011 rolled around I had lost almost all desire to continue. I used our distance apart as an excuse, stating it was too hard to try and catch each other on the phone. The truth is, I didn't want to make time. I praise God today that her relationship with Him has nothing to do with me and that despite me I believe she has grown in her understanding of our Great Lord. I ran from God. I sought other people's approval and didn't feel accomplished until I received it. I started back into school without a solid way to pay for it, simply because my pride drove me. I dated a guy I barely knew because he said he liked me and I was so desperate to be liked. I hung out with Curtis (now my husband) while dating this other guy because he made me feel so good too. As a result, I used both men...something I am very ashamed to admit. Sucking as much as I could from each man, I pushed one to break up with me and the other I pushed far away from me.

But our Lord is Great and Mighty and He is incredibly merciful. Even though I had only shown myself to be incredibly selfish and desperate, the Lord softened Curtis heart. Curtis told me later that he felt God tell him that "our story was not done yet." Doesn't that send chills down your back?! Curtis responded by completely opening his arms to me and loving me fully from the very start with no abandon. He threw me off guard actually, lol, I remember him saying "I love you" within a week of us dating and I had no idea what to say back. The scary thing was I knew he meant it...not like a young boy who's wrapped up in the romantic and says it just to say it...even if he thinks he means it. There was something deeper in what Curtis meant when he said "I love you," now I recognize it as the love of Christ flowing through him.

So despite my rejection of Christ, despite abandoning Him and following my own selfish pursuits, God still chased after me. Or rather, turned around slowly while I ran frantically around at His feet. (Who are we kidding, can we really run from God? We're just little toddlers running behind our Parent and thinking He can't find us). Curtis portrayed a physical example of Christ to me, not always because he is human. Curtis loved me even through all the bullsh#$%^ I put him through. Just as Christ, he healed my wounds, he rebuked the sin, he held me as I sobbed, he tenderly directed me.

And so now, at the beginning of the new year, I kneel on the ground, arms and face lifted upwards and cry out for His Spirit again. I did it my way, I chased my own desires and all I cared about was me...and there was no fulfillment in it. All I feel is emptiness, pain, hurt, sorrow, regret, disgust and shame. Lord, I want to be REAL again. I want to talk to You again, I want to hear Your Voice again, I want to feel You close to me. I want to learn more about You, about me, about the world, about Your plan. Everything deep inside me cries out for You Lord and I am tired of trying to ignore it.

As Jacob said in his sermon yesterday, quality over quantity. My new year's resolution is to fall on my face before God every day and say "None of self and all of Thee, Lord." No lists this year, nothing that makes me feel like I accomplished something...instead, I empty myself of all my selfish desires and goals and reasonings and instead ask to be filled with His desires and His goals, because I know that those are good for me and I know they will bring me joy like nothing I could dream up. Instead of purposing to do something, I'm purposing

Monday, October 3, 2011

Comparisons: Diving into My Depravity

It is completely humbling to realize just how much is wrong with you. Or rather, to see the tip of the wrongness and be shocked by it's bigness and then realize there is an entire iceberg under the surface that you can't even see yet.

So much in my thought process is erroneous. The way I think about things, the way I relate things, the conclusions I make, the things I mull over, the things I pass over, the things I stress about and the things I don't care about.

So much in my actions are wrong. Habits of years and years that I'm finally seeing are wrong, not just the way things are. So many tones of voice, small phrases I say, body language, etc is so hurtful to other people and I had no idea.

More and more is being revealed to me. I praise God that ever since I surrendered in 2009 He has been growing me in leaps and bounds in my understanding of Him, in my daily walk with Him, in my obedience, and in my knowledge of Scriptures. Now, I'm blessed that I have someone who is in direct relationship with me, who sees all this wrong in me and is in a position to speak truth to me. To call me out and hold me accountable. Not to condemn me or respond in ugliness, but to teach and process with me. It's interesting to think about just a year ago or even 5 years ago and how desperate I was for a husband, for a companion, for someone to want to be with me always and how I was completely not ready to be in such a relationship. And then I think about now, about to be married in less than 2 months...I'm not that much different from who I was then. I have definitely grown but I am still just as not ready for the relationship I am in. I want it. I need it. I would be lost without it. But I am not giving as much to the relationship as God calls a wife to be. There is still so much bitterness and anger and selfishness in my heart that rises up against my fiancé on an almost daily basis. I think about all this and I praise God for His grace and His mercy, that He would allow me the desire of my heart even though I do not deserve it...and that my fiancé would love me and commit to me despite myself. I am so incredibly blessed.

One thing I am thinking through today, as something that has been brought to my attention, is my habit of thinking in comparisons. The more I think about it, the more I realize just HOW DEEP my thoughts are steeped in comparisons.

I compare myself to other women. I'm not as slim as her, as athletic as her, my hair isn't as long, I'm not as good with makeup as her, I don't have nice handwriting as her, I don't throw parties like her, I'm not as friendly as her, I don't speak as well as her, I don't sing as well as her, I'm not as talented as her, I'm nothing like her.

I think about girls my fiancé has dated before. To my shame, I worry that I don't kiss as well as her, that I'm not as adventurous as she was, that I'm not as sexy or as appealing. After everything I do with my fiancé or for my fiancé, I wonder if she did it better and if he's remembering it.

Probably the most shameful, I compare myself in order to make myself feel better. I'm not as stupid as her, I'm not as ugly as her, I'm not as catty, I would never be that lame, I will never weigh that much, I will never be that rude, I will never be that bitchy.

When my fiancé quietly (or sometimes not as quietly) points out my sin, I immediately compare in my head to things he's done before, things my mother has done, things his mother has done, things other women have done and I try and come up with someone who's done the same or done worse so I can tell myself "Ya, but it's not that big of a deal. You mean well, you didn't really want to do that, and besides he/she has done it more often or done worse. One slip is ok, cut yourself some slack."

Is my desperation apparent to anyone yet? Can you see my lack of identity in Christ? My complete disbelief in who He says I am, who He says He is? Can you see my complete fascination and love affair with myself? No wonder I am antsy all the time, no wonder I can't sit still for hours and just be with God and think on Him and sing to Him and talk with Him. No wonder my soul is weighted, no wonder I keep cracking under the pressure, no wonder I'm sobbing on the phone to my fiancé. No wonder I'm discontent and worried about people's opinion of me, no wonder I despise myself inside and out.

There is so much rot inside this tree. So many dead branches, lifeless limbs, such shallow roots. Cut me to a stump Lord. Rid me of every inch of sickness and disease and death, cleanse me of myself. Break me Lord because I am dying and I want so desperately to live. Thank You for giving me life in the first place, for chasing me down and pursuing me and wooing me even though I whore myself out to idols. Thank You for being faithful while I am faithless, for loving when I hate, for staying by my side when I run away. You are the only solution to my brokenness, the only Healer, the only One who completes me. None of self and all of Thee Lord, clean me, kill me, restore me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


God has given His commands to us, but we pay no attention to them - not because of wilful disobedience, but because we do not truly love and respect Him." - Oswald Chambers

The Lord is terrifying. He is Creator and Destroyer. He is the Beginning and the End. He always was and always will be. Our minds cannot imagine Him and if we were to see Him our eyes could not contain Him (my theory is your whole body disintegrates in the presence of God because His glory is so great....but thats just a theory). The thought of seeing God's face or of hearing Him talk audibly to me is enough to poop your pants...and then some.

It's easier to stay distant from God, to pursue His ways but not Him. It is safer to listen to teachers of the Word, to read the Word, to talk about Christ in our social circles than it is to get naked before Him. It's safer for me to live my life without ever fully looking upward at Him, to honor Him in my actions but not bare my heart for His conviction. Obedience is hard. it is painful. It is messy. It is confusing. We feel better about our obedience if it is merely obedience to a human's interpretation of God's law. A pastor, a teacher, a mentor will all make mistakes. We may feel that we can interpret someone else's interpretation of the Word. We can listen to a sermon, agree with the message, and yet never change our thinking or way of life in light of it.

"Why are we so terrified for God to speak to us? It is because we know that when God speaks we must either do what He asks or tell Him we will not obey. But if it is simply one of God's servants speaking to us, we feel obedience is optional, not imperative. We respond by saying "Well that's only your own idea, even though I don't deny that what you said is probably God's truth." - Oswald Chambers

But when God comes into your life, there is no ignoring Him. He fills every inch with Himself. He invades your heart, your soul, your mind, your body. When the Lord speaks, you will answer. His holiness demands submission. When God commands, you cannot pretend you don't understand. You can't ask for clearer instructions. God commands and gives you what you need to obey. There are no excuses left. Now it's do or die. You either submit, obey, love God or you look into the very embodiment of holiness and say "No."

We all want to say "No" to God. We all want to do everything our own way. We have different pleasures, distractions, things that we delight in (or believe ourselves to delight in) and we don't want God to take it away from us or to tell us to go spend our time/money elsewhere.

Oh the mercy of God, knowing that His very presence demands our submission, He withdraws from creation to allow us free-will. It is always our choice whether or not we obey His commands, whether or not we listen to His voice. God knows that as soon as He puts us before Him, we must obey. How could we not? But the Lord wants our wilful obedience. He wants us to choose to love Him, even further than that He wants us to recognize that we don't have the capacity to love Him but to want to so much that we cry out to be filled with His very Spirit, that Spirit that brings us into direct communication with the Lord, that fills us with His love so that we can pour it back out in praise and worship to Him. How great is our God!

The shame of knowing that I have ignored my Lord, after everything He has led me through, after everything He has done for me...the shame overwhelms me. I can look back over my life and wonder how I could be so stubborn, so stupid to believe that anything less than obedience would be sufficient for God.

Sweet, sweet obedience. Loss of myself. None of self and all of Thee. Empty pockets and open hands. Willful slavery to the cross.

Weigh me down. Wreck my world. Strip me of my idols. Holy Spirit rush through me. Lord convict me. Christ lead me to the cross.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This morning I picked up Radical by David Platt and read a chapter. The chapter was called "How Much is Too Much" and talks about the rich young ruler who Jesus told to sell all possessions in order to follow Christ.

The past week or maybe even longer than that have been stressful for me. The pressure of finding a job as bills piled up, going through training, keeping up with school, discipling a younger sister, with romantic interests sprinkled all in there. Once I start making money, who do I pay back first? When do I find time to read chapters for school, do defensive driving for the county, spend time with family, grow new friendships around me? Is dating a good idea right now or should I worry about other things? Even further back, I was consumed with finding furniture pieces for my room, to create exactly the environment I wanted. I have a to-do list that grows rather than diminishes and I never stop thinking about it.

Every day I look into the eyes of a homeless man or woman just a few feet away from me. Every day I shrug my shoulders and shake my head. If I'm feeling cowardly, I won't even look in their direction. Several days a week I siit next to men and women who are struggling, single moms with several kids and a full-time job who is trying to get an education. Several days a week, I work with men and women who make money to waste it on drinking, possessions, and fun times. There are children who live here in Austin that don't have a solid home, that are jumped from foster house to foster house. There are women raped and abused with no way out and no belief in any other kind of life.

And this is just in Austin. There are so many more hurting and needy people worldwide.

How can I stress? How can I worry about furniture or anything for that matter? Isn't Christ Lord of all? Doesn't God hold everything in His hands? Do I think that I can add one day to my life through my stressing and worrying?

Satan knows that all he has to do is distract me from what really matters. To be consumed with life, with what is "good" and "right" and to ignore or forget about what is "gospel" and "Truth".

When I'm worried, I pull into my own little world. I can't see anything outside of the bubble inside my own head. I'm selfish, thinking and caring only about myself and what I can accomplish.

Lord forgive me. You have told me time and time again that you have my finances under control. You have told me time and time again, this is where you want my focus. I know that when I am surrendered to You, when Your Spirit fills me than allt he cares of this world fade away and I find myself pushing to love as much as Your love can pulse through my body. When I release my hold on everything, You guide my hands to touch the hurt, the sick, those desperate for love. Knowing this, how can I ever pull my hands back?

God I am so depraved. I would rather live for myself than for You. This morning Lord I am reminded of how much You have given me. Lord, rather than basking in my blessings, I want to give them out. Open my eyes Lord, give me ears to hear the cries around me. Fill me with the Spirit that resonates Your will. I lay my hands off of everything Lord and recognize it's ownership in You. Get these things to those that need them Lord. I need nothing Lord but You for man does not live on bread alone. Forgive your daughter for her intentional blindness. Challenge my thoughts, my actions, my will Lord. Weigh down on me with Your glory, expose that which is evil in my heart, scrape the mud off the walls of my life. Blast me with Your Spirit, remove everything that is not bringing glory to Your name. Not what I want Lord, but what You desire. May my thoughts follow Your thoughts, my ways follow Your ways. Empty pockets and open hands I stand before You and praise You for You are I Am.