the sum of my days is to love Him.

i feel like i’ve entered into a season of service and work.

the new home i’m living at, there are just things that need to be done and i do them and help out wherever i can. the girls love me (they are 2 and 3 years old) and i’ve bonded with the awesome dog that lives here and i really believe that this is a good place for me. i get along with Brian and Lindsey just… amazing if i say so, the atmosphere is relaxed but at the same time i am hearing God SO MUCH and it’s almost like every single day i am learning about just life in general and photography especially, and i am just absorbing it all.  i’ve been here less than a week and already i feel like i am home.  i absolutely love that i can talk to Brian & Lindsey (and if you’re reading this Linds, i feel like we are going to be really good friends 🙂   i never mind when they ask if i can watch the girls and for example, this afternoon, the girls were crying because Brian & Lindsey had to do something and left, and so i distracted them from the reason they were crying and we painted our fingernails & toenails and it was an absolute blast.  both of the girls were laughing by the end of it and couldn’t wait for mom and dad to get back home so they could show them their “surprise” as we called it 🙂

 

the last week has been incredibly surreal for me, almost like i’m not really living MY life if that makes sense to you all who read this… one week ago, i saw Hillsong United and walked away from that worship night completely different than when i arrived. God reached down from heaven and LOVED on me when i least expected it. my goal and aim to going to the Hillsong concert was to unite my heart with other believers and just PRAISE God because He deserves it and He is just SO. WORTHY.  and i was doing so and then all of a sudden, i was overwhelmed. standing up was difficult.  the only other time that could compare to this feeling was when i got filled with the Holy Spirit and that was different from this, yet somewhat similar.  it was SO…intimate.  so… personal.  it was God, the Creator of the Universe, coming into MY realm, into MY heart, meeting me where i was.  for about an hour straight i was overwhelmed in the love of God.  the tears flowed freely and i was no longer concerned about taking photos or capturing anything on video for friends.  it was me and it was God and right then that was all that mattered in my life. the physical pains in my body, the thoughts in my mind that had previously distracted me, the fact that i was super thirsty…none of these things were even important enough to spare a thought about, it was me and it was God. that was it. words can barely put a finger on it, how it felt, how i changed, but after we were finished worshipping, i walked away as in a daze. i was grinning and i knew it. i felt like i was on fire, but like a glow. i stumbled out to where they had their merch table and such set up to find Alyssa and if she hadn’t seen me i probably would never have found her.  we both made a couple quick purchases at the table and then made our way out to my car.

 

i couldn’t stop singing. 

on the way back to alyssa’s house (i drove because she was too tired too. for those of you who know ANYTHING at ALL about my past, i never used to be able to drive in cities or anything… and i was driving in downtown Milwaukee, i was driving on the interstate, i drove in the ghetto and had a girl come up to our car & knock on the window, but i was completely fine. absolutey no anxiety whatsoever, i didn’t even feel stressed that whole day.) i was singing as i drove her home. while i packed up my things from the night before, i was humming, as i hugged alyssa goodbye my heart was playing melodies in my head, and once i got into my car, i put on the iHeart Revolution cd that i have on my ipod and with a cracking, croaky voice, i set off for Kenosha, still singing to my King.  that night i prayed in tongues more freely than i have since i got filled with the Holy Spirit, i think i was afraid of it at first.  i’m not anymore.  i was singing and praying in tongues during the worship, and while i was driving and it’s just getting easier and easier all the time. i’m more comfortable with it for sure.  

 

i believe my singing voice was changed during the concert.  i feel like i have a better ability to sing than i did before (not that i’m good or even remotely amazing) but i am going to sing to God and sing out loud and sing without music on in the background to help me, and i don’t care what anyone thinks.  i’ve been singing harmonies a LOT lately and it’s easier for me to hear them.  that was really cool to realize.  i used to hate my singing  voice and now i don’t care. it’s me and it’s God. and that’s all that matters.

 

so what has God been teaching me/speaking to me lately?

 

the sum of all of my days is to love Him.

 

it is me.

and it is God.

 

and that is all that matters.

 

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yay i made a photography website!

http://lizschankephotography.wordpress.com/

here is my “official” photography website.

note: it is not finished yet and certain aspects of the site may still vary.

 

feedback welcome 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillsong United: aftermath.

Joel Houston of Hillsong United, lost in worship

Hillsong United drummer

Joel Houston on acoustic guitar

me worshipping at the Hillsong United show

Monday, June 13th, I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see Hillsong United at the Bradley Center with my dear friend Alyssa Muchka =)

it was an experience just wow. i went with the expectation that God was going to radically show up and meet me there, He had spoken to me

about it previous to the concert and so before i went, i was preparing myself.  i once read a quote that said,

“The failure to prepare soul and mind for worship is to render oneself tone deaf to the things of the spirit”

this is one of the most true things I have learned since living here in Kenosha. yeah Sunday mornings are amazing as far as worship goes and all

but if you aren’t actively seeking God every single day, not JUST Sunday mornings, then everything you do is going to be faded and not ALIVE.

So, going into this concert/worship time I was thinking about all of these things, knowing God had spoken to me about doing something pretty big

during  and because of it, I was not focused on my cell phone, what time it was, how much my body ached, how tired my arms were, I wasn’t focused on getting

good photos, I didn’t even care about the people around me.

 

It was me. and it was God.

and that was enough.

 

I walked away from that night SO changed.

it was extremely uncharacteristic of me, but I couldn’t stop singing after we left the venue, the whole way back to Lyssa’s house I was singing,

the whole way back to Kenosha from Milwaukee I was singing and the next morning, I woke up just grinning and singing.

I was singing on the way to work, I was singing AT work, with people around, without people around.

I used to hate my singing voice but my opinion on that has changed. I’m still going to sing and sing out LOUD.

 

it’s all about the secret place, intimacy with God.

 

KNOWING Him.

 

my Jesus? He loves me.

“what He saw”

“What was” A man Righteous in the sight of God, condemned by the men He was destined to save. Crucified by the ones He loved beaten by the ones He held. Cursed by the ones He forgave. “What I saw” It was my pride that pressed the crown of thorns into His brow. My transgression held the hammer that pounded in the nails, my anger that held the whip tightly between my fingers. “What was” It was my sin that He bled for, my sin that He carried the cross to the hill on Calvary, my sin. “What He did” He uttered not one curse, He breathed not one breath of anger. For my every grin and sneer was a tear He cried. His lips last utterance was forgiveness and love. And there I stood before the cross cursing Him with all my sin. But that’s not “what He saw” He saw a man before a cross, on his knees with his face to the ground. He saw not a hammer in my hand but the living word of God, He saw not the whip between my fingers but the laying on of hands for the sick, He saw not pride pressing in the crown of thorns but humility pressing for the crown of His sufferings, He saw not a man cursing in sin, but a man praising in righteousness made whole and standing before and empty cross for the Savior had risen! What we saw and what was are stark differences. He saw what was, because He saw what the Father saw. He lived in faith, not believed in it, but lived in it. He saw the evidence of things unseen. We could not see, for we did not have faith, not even of a mustard seed. He saw it and His tears were also the rejoicing of His sufferings and the reward of His promises! Why do you think He said, when I come back… Will I find faith? Will He?

 

note: this is not my own writing but i HAD to share since it brought me to tears. such eloquent words!!