Sunday, July 29, 2012


Imagine that you have just committed a crime of unspeakable evil and you were caught by the authorities. You're sitting in the courtroom waiting for the judge to deliver the verdict: Guilty or Not Guilty

But you already know the answer before the judge even speaks.


You committed the crime, you pay the price. As the death sentence is being spoken someone steps up and offers to take your place. Nobody is more shocked than you, especially given that the person willing to take your punishment as his own, is none other than the judge's only son. And he was the most stand-up guy you could ever meet, never breaking the law, never doing anything wrong. He was the model citizen and he just asked his father for your death sentence.

Now, you are no longer guilty, but innocent. Someone else is paying for the consequences of your actions as if they had committed the crime and not you.

But accepting your innocence, and living in the freedom of your innocence are two different things. Yes, the prison cell is open but are you still living inside?

We are humans. We are a far cry from ever being perfect while we live on this earth. But God doesn't require perfection, he just asks for progress. When we fall, we need to get back up. God forgives us and we can move on. Read that again.

Why do let ourselves dredge up our past and all the guilty feelings that go with that? If you've asked God to forgive you, he has and you don't need to keep punishing yourself for something that's been taken off your record and removed from you. That no longer defines you.

Guilt is not from God. This is something I've been repeating to myself constantly these past few weeks because it's not a concept I'm familiar with. Yes, I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sin and took my punishment. Yes, I believe that he offers grace and mercy and love and freedom. Yes, I believe that I have been forgiven and that in Christ I am a new creation, that when God looks at me, he sees Jesus and not my sin.

But I don't live like that. I live like I'm the scum of the earth, not worthy to even be entering the church doors. That I don't deserve to fellowship with other Christians who, you know, have it all together (because everyone has it all together but me, right?). That if they knew the struggles that went on in my heart they wouldn't want to have anything to do with me (never mind that this has been disproven countless times, I still FEEL that way every now and then).

So if I say I believe one thing and then act like I don't, what does that make me?

It makes me a hypocrite. And we all know how much everyone loves a hypocrite. That God's word isn't enough for me. That yes, he's forgiven me but I still have to punish myself because Christ's gruesome death on the cross wasn't enough for me. What? How can that not be enough!?

How can Christ's death on the cross not be enough for you?

Live like it, people. Live like you believe his death is enough to cover your sins and stop punishing yourself for past mistakes that you've already asked his forgiveness for.

We sang this song in church today and I am always so moved by the words. Our names are written on God's hands and our life is hid with Christ. God made an end of all our sins (including past, present and future sins) we only need to look to him. 

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
The great High Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is written on His hands
My name is graven on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless Rightousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Letter To My Body

Ok, so I know this might look strange, but seriously, writing this was really, really, really hard. I was inspired by this post here (and you really should just stop right now and read this one first. It's jaw-droppingly real and honest and so so powerful) and I decided to do something similar. I was pretty surprised at my reaction. I teared up, I got angry, I had to stop a few times because facing this ugly side of myself was overwhelming. I felt some old wounds reopening and I started to question why I had even decided to do this but then, as I pushed through and kept writing, I began to see some healing. (And seriously, you should go read Lauren Nicole's before you start mine.)

Dear Body,

I need to tell you something. I know what you're probably thinking, that this is going to be another one of my rants against you like I usually do whenever we talk but that's not it. This time, I think you'll actually like what I'm going to say.

I actually have two things to tell you. 

I'm sorry and thank you.

I know. You're probably shocked. I've never told you I'm sorry or thank you before in the almost 21 and a half years that you've known me. Maybe you don't believe me but it's true. Things are going to be different between us now, I promise. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize how awful I've treated you but I've been brought face to face with my anger and hatred towards you, my selfishness, my ungratefulness for all you've done and the only thing I can do is to try and apologize.

There's so many ways I've wronged you that I'm not even sure where to start but here's my most earnest attempt at reconciling with you.

I am sorry for all the judgmental and critical looks I've given you in the mirror as I get ready for the day. 

I'm sorry for all the negative comments I've thrown at you, for the way that I constantly compare you to others and berate you for not looking more like them. 

I'm sorry for always wishing you looked like everybody else, even though everybody else doesn't look anything alike.

I'm sorry for not appreciating everything that you can do for me and cursing you for not being able to do more. 

I'm sorry for ignoring your pleas to stop and pushing you harder than you were able to go and then hating you for not being able to keep up.

I'm sorry for not treating you the way that you should have been treated, taking care of you instead of neglecting you.

I'm so terribly sorry for wanting to kill you with a handful of pills when you were fighting so hard just to stay alive when your kidneys failed.

You've never really asked for much, but I still complain that you need medication regularly even though you're doing all you can to stay well. I just hate trying to remember to take them every day and then I feel guilty when I don't remember. It's just hard sometimes, you know? Of course you know. I'm the one who doesn't get how hard it is for you to keep accepting a new organ that you weren't born with. 

I'm seeing now, that if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been able to see God's power in my life. His strength being made perfect in my weakness. I wouldn't have experienced his love being poured out on me and through me to reach others in an awesome display of glory. 

So thank you. Thank you for being the way you are. Every tiny detail is perfect and I don't want to change anything about you now that I see you for what you really are. When I railed against you for not being what I wanted, it wasn't you that I was mad at, it was the one who made you. 

How could I have hated this gift of my body that was made so perfectly in the image of a loving God who only gives the best to his children? The fact that every little thing about you was so lovingly designed and hand-crafted with uniquenesses that aren't like anybody should thrill me, and I hope you know that it does. It does now. It's not easy sometimes, because I'm human and I want things that I don't have, but I promise that I'll work on being content with what I've been given and remember that there's a reason for everything.

When I look in the mirror, I promise that I will look at you in a whole new light, the way you were meant to be looked at. I will not start nit-picking at flaws, because you aren't flawed. I will love your little quirks and be glad that I have something that isn't like everybody else. I will love you the way that you are and stop wishing I could change you because that would mean changing the story that God meant for us to have and it's a beautiful story that doesn't need to be changed at all. 

Yours always,
Kristin Lanae

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

It's Wednesday! Several blogs sometimes do a wordless Wednesday and post a bunch of pictures instead of writing anything. Well, I'm a woman of many words and I like pictures so I'm bucking the trend and Wednesdays here at Life Happens will be not-so-wordless days with pictures that I decide to share, either my own that I've taken or random pictures from the internet that I came across.

A beautiful red dress from Pinterest. I wish I had a dress like this, I would wear it all the time.

From the Good Women Project, specifically from this post, here. I like the statement. I like the girl's smile. And her hair. And her tattoos. :-) 

Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Another one from Pinterest. It's more a quote than a picture but I still felt like sharing it. This was repinned onto my "Words that Inspire" board. 

And that's only three pictures.... next time there will be more and I'll even pull out my camera this weeks so you can see some original ones from me. :-) Have a great night (or day, depending on what time you read this) everyone! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sing a Song

I have a new plan for my blog and one of those is to have a sort of "theme" for each day of the week, just to keep me on track, and give me a little motivation to put new stuff up regularly. So for Sundays, I'm going to be sharing a youtube video, with the lyrics posted below. I do realize that we all have different tastes and standards in music and my intention of posting these songs is not to offend but to share with you what's encouraged me in hopes of encouraging you. If the music I like is not something you enjoy listening to, don't listen! I don't mind. :-) That's why the lyrics will be included in the post as well so that you can read them without listening to music that you're not fond of.

I like the band, Flyleaf, a lot and listen to them pretty regularly. I relate a lot to their songs and I like the deeper meanings in most of their songs. The lyrics don't always make sense right away until you think about them.

This song is called "This Close" and I've been listening to it a lot this summer because it's how I've been feeling. Like I'm walking dead, in slow motion, watching everyone else zoom past me and I'm missing something, whatever it is, that will wake me up and break the wall that holds me back from being real again. Being me again.  I don't know what I'm doing, but I know I'm  closer than I've ever been.

I had a dream that we were dead but we pretended that we still lived
With no regrets we never bled and we took everything life could give
And came up broken empty handed in the end

In the hearts of the blind something you'll never find is a vision of light

With the voice of the dead I'm screaming
I don't know who I am anymore
Not once in life have I been real but I've never felt this close before
I've been looking in your window, I've been dressing in your clothes
I've been walking dead, watching you long enough to know I can't go on

I had a dream that fire fell from an opening in the sky
Someone warned me of this hell and I spit in his naive eye
And left him crying for my soul he said would die

In the hearts of the blind something you'll never find is a vision of light

With the voice of the dead I'm screaming
I don't know who I am anymore
Not once in life have I been real but I've never felt this close before
I've been looking in your window, I've been dressing in your clothes
I've been walking dead, watching you long enough to know I can't go on

In the hearts of the blind something you'll never find is a vision of light

With the voice of the dead I'm screaming
I don't know who I am anymore
Not once in life have I been real but I've never felt this close before
I've been looking in your window, I've been dressing in your clothes
I've been walking dead, watching you long enough to know I can't go on

I've been looking in your window, I've been dressing in your clothes

I've been walking dead, watching you long enough to know I can't go on

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Catch-Up Time :-)

So.... yeah it's always awkward trying to get back into blogging when you've let things go. Especially after making a promise to have a series of blog posts and such. But life happens and I'm finally back after a crazy, crazy summer.

Picking up where my last post left off, I pretty much failed at getting my life back on track. Mostly because I was too busy trying to do things on my own (when am I ever gonna learn that I can't. I mean, seriously!) and because I was watching my life derail because of bad choices, having my priorities mixed up, and pretty much ignoring God I kinda forgot about my little blog here. But y'all probably wouldn't have wanted to read my thoughts during that time anyway but I'm sure I'll be sharing some things from those experiences later on now that I've put some distance and time between myself and those situations.

Needless to say, God cared enough about me to give me a divine intervention by working everything out for me to go to a girl's training camp (very last minute, but it was exactly what I needed) called STEP and then, since I'm currently jobless, I was provided with the opportunity to volunteer at the International ALERT Academy (IAA)  with a full-time job working under a very Godly couple and having all my basic needs covered.

That was a shortened version of the last three months of my life but it's enough to get everybody all back on the same page with where I'm at now.

I'm in the process of making some pretty big decisions but I'm pretty excited about what the future holds right now and I'm looking forward to seeing what God's gonna do next. Big things are happening  and I'm just along for the ride on this crazy adventure of life. If I had to pick on big lesson that I've gotten out of this year, it's to hold on tight.  God likes big roller coasters that go so fast and so high that you feel like you're going to fly right out of your seat, in spite of the the fact that you're buckled in with those big, V-style harness things that swing down over your shoulders and lock into place so that you absolutely do not move.  But you still feel like they aren't enough when you're flying down a hill and the g-forces are pulling the flesh back on your face and your body seems to be suspended in that small space between your seat and the harness. Pretty much, all you can do is hold on because that's how life is sometimes. The biggest, scariest, most rewarding roller coaster of all time.

I am really excited to start getting back into my blogging though! Things are going to be a little different around here but I think you'll like the changes I make. I've got so much to write about and so much to tell y'all about my life, and the things God is showing me, and the ideas bouncing around in my head and whatever else that I decide to post over here in my little corner of the internet.

Enjoy the ride!

This picture doesn't really have anything to do with this post, I just like it. It's a reminder to me that God sees the big picture and I only see a small piece.