something new.

Well, a lot has happened since I've last written:

  • I finished my first year of Grad school.
  • I went to Zambia with CLASP, an organization bringing Speech Therapy to the children of Zambia.
  • Got a new roommate to add to our apartment of fun.
  • Moved apartments on maybe the hottest most humid day of the summer.
  • Speaking of heat, survived the Dallas heat run of who knows how many days in the triple digits.
  • I met a new friend.
  • I started dating aforementioned new friend.
  • I fell in love with my new friend.
  • November 4, 2011, my friend asked me to marry him. I'm ENGAGED!

His name is Jake Finch, and he's the biggest blessing in the world. Everything I imagined in a man and more! And especially all of those things I didn't imagine and never knew I needed. We know that the Lord has blessings for us in store, but it's hard to really know until you've seen those blessings.

I find myself in amazement all the time that God has seen me, has chosen to bless me, and has given me someone to share life with the way He has intended life to be shared - fully, passionately and abundantly.

It is the end of a chapter, and the beginning of an adventure - wedding planning, house hunting, rejoicing, stressing, honeymooning, etc. I couldn't have asked for a better sidekick (or maybe I'm the sidekick and he's the hero...). I couldn't have asked for a better hero to lead the way. I also couldn't have asked for a better family to join forces with, and likewise, my family has opened their arms to him. It's so good!

With the end of a chapter, I'll be getting something(s) new. A new name for one. A new life as two become one and I die to self and become a part of someone else's life and we create a new life together. With that newness comes the end of just me, and the end of this blog. And I can't say that I'm disappointed. 

Looking back, my posts have chronicled joys and sorrows, struggles and victories, and just thoughts that I've had about faith, life, learning and love. These have been journeys of me and the Lord, working out my faith and the workings of my heart. I cannot tell you how wonderful it will be to pick up where I leave off and have someone's hand to hold along the way, someone's brain to pick at every hour of the day/night, someone's shoulder to cry on when I don't understand, and someone to rejoice with me and the Lord in the joys of life. Someone to walk with me toward Christ while we live here on earth, and someone who I know will be with me in Heaven forever worshipping our King.


I'm floored. I'm thankful that the Lord did not require me to wait too long, but I'm also thankful that He gave me the patience and contentment while I was waiting. Not that it wasn't hard, but I slowly learned that He would be faithful to me and bring good things to my life, making my life a picture of His love and faithfulness.

And that is what I proclaim with Jake as we take this next step - I proclaim with such joy and gladness that the Lord is faithful! Our God is faithful, and He loves us much.

*I'm still a Buckner for now and will continue current updates here, but stay tuned for a new blog coming soon!!!


my cup overflows.

I haven't written in a long time. Maybe because I've been busy living. Maybe because I haven't had time to think. Maybe because I've been neglecting my heart and it's dweller - Jesus Christ. I prayed out loud yesterday for the first time in a long time, and it felt strange. Honestly, I felt like I was talking to a stranger. I know I wasn't. I know that He loves me and cares for me, but it felt different. I felt like I had a lot to say, a lot to talk about, and so the little things I wanted to say and converse about were unimportant sitting next to the great travesties of thoughts that needed to be discussed.  I felt like Jesus was saying, "Why are we talking about the food you're about to eat, and about the safety of you and others when we need to talk about our friendship?"

My guess is that we all do this. We all get super busy with life that we hurry along and "pray" throughout our days, but we don't really ever sit at His feet, quiet, listening.  I feel like Jesus knows a lot of what's going on in my heart and life, but I don't really know what's going on in His. Yesterday I felt the weight of that - the weight of coming before Him and not knowing His heart. The weight of realizing that I need Him so much, and I've been acting like I didn't.

Needing Him - this is different from reading a passage of scripture in the morning, going to church, leading a Bible study, going to a Bible study, praying for friends, thanking Him for blessings, etc. Needing Him is allowing Him to change me, to pour life-giving wisdom into me, to rejuvenate me, to redeem me, every single day I'm alive.

I've been going on fumes, and I just ran out of gas. It only works for so long, you know, and then you die.  And then it's like, there aren't even words to speak to explain what's going on inside. I feel empty.  I slept for 15 hours last night, and I'm pretty sure that was a physical representation of my spiritual state - weary because I've neglected Him filling my cup.  "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45), and my mouth has nothing to say because my heart is empty.

And life just keeps getting bigger. He is faithful, though, and my weary heart and mind are clinging to that thread of truth midst the tatters of threads that I have neglected and even unraveled.  I am determined to get out of this dry place.  Ironically and satisfyingly enough, however, there is nothing I can do to get myself out except rest - rest in His arms and let Him pour out His strength and love over me.  From that place, I can be more diligent about being in His word and being His friend.

I guess I share this so that friends can hold me accountable, but also to encourage you that there is no place too dry, no place too silent, no place too despairing that He cannot come and lift you from.  He fills, He speaks, He redeems, until my cup overfloweth.

Praise this wonderful God, from whom all blessings flow.


single women, part 4: on purpose.

It's taken me longer to think about this post because of its delicate nature. Why are we here? There is a different array of answers for each of us, and I don't want to presume that I know why you're here and what your higher calling is in life. All of us are called to glorify God through Jesus Christ in our life. All of us. How we do that, however, is up to us and the freedom we experience in following Jesus.

I've been talking about single women, but really, I think all believers - men, women, singles, married folk, etc. - should ask themselves questions about their purpose, how they spend their time, and to what end they are working towards. You see, a single woman is merely a follower of Christ, just like a married woman is, just like a married man is.

In my broken quest to glorify the Lord, I have found that the number one influence on my walk with the Lord is how I spend my time.  Ephesians 5:15-17 says this, " Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Our time here on earth is important! It is valuable to His kingdom. We should not be foolish, but understand the will of the Lord, and do it. James tells us not to be hearers of the word but doers, otherwise we deceive ourselves (1:22).

The Bible is also very clear about wasted time. Proverbs 6:9-11 says, How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you lie a robber, and want like an armed man." 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. You're enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."  2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

I share scripture instead of my own thoughts because I want to highlight the fact that everyone's call is different - everyone is created uniquely and with specific qualities and talents meant to bring God glory.  What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.  Legalism is me taking what I do to bring God glory and confining you to that structure.  You were made to glorify God just the way you are! Just how He intended - living freely in the power of Christ Jesus in you.

In my life, I have found that freedom in purpose comes from great discipline - discipline of mind, body, and soul. Ben Stuart said in one of his talks that "Freedom is a train on its tracks."  I agree wholeheartedly. One of my life verses is 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Do you not know that in a race all the runner run, but only one receives the prize?
So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.
They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others
I myself should be disqualified.

Whatever it takes - to live a holy life, to walk humbly, to act justly, to show mercy, to give grace, to love freely, to forgive without question. For me, it takes strict discipline in every aspect of my life, from what I eat, to how I take care of myself physically, to what I watch on television, to what I talk about with my friends, to how I fill my time, etc. I could go on and on. I definitely fail every single day, but these are the choices I strive to make to make my life pleasing to God, whether I'm single or married. 

A lie we fall into is "Well, I'll take care of that struggle when I get married and have help." Or, "I'll fix this when (insert anything) day comes."  Jesus is here and now; redemption has happened, sanctification is occurring, every second of every day. Praise Jesus for that. Our time is important to Him. Let's let Him fill our time, making it productive, fruitful, and glorifying.

This post is part of a series on being a single woman. The introduction is found here - single women. Please post comments, thoughts, stories, questions, etc. The next post is going to be a little different. As suggested by one of the readers, I am going to look at what it looks like to be pursued as a Godly woman.


single women, part 3: holy longings.

Longing (verb): having a strong wish or desire.

I would say that's Biblical.  God longed for redemption for His people and so He sent Jesus.  Jesus longs for intimacy with His children and so He gave His life and left us the Holy Spirit. Longings. Holy longings. What about longing for marriage?

Marriage is ordained by God. Biblical marriage is blessed by God.  Marriage is good. Longing for good things blessed and ordained by God is good.  Amen.  I used to think that I hadn't "trusted the Lord with my singleness" because I was still wanting to be married.  That is a false belief system that I will try to explain with the following story.

All my life I have been longing to do missions, particularly overseas. Yes, there is something exotic about the idea of adventures around the world, but also He has commanded us to go and tell the nations about Him. I want to do that.  I wanted to do it so badly sophomore year of college that I made myself sick - trying to figure out when and where, manipulating situations, jumping at every thought and opportunity, and anxiously fearing that I would never get to go.  I was physically sick from trying to control my desires.  I was miserable.

In a sermon I heard during that time, the pastor talked about having an open hand on our desires - open, so that the Lord could give and take away as He pleases (Job). I reluctantly relinquished my tight grip and stored up my desires in my heart.  They never went away, but the Lord faithfully taught me to hold tightly to only Him, so that then He could take me where He wanted me to be.  (I call this effect "growing down" in my own sort of lingo.)

Friends, the Lord is faithful.  I encourage each of you to read Psalm 139 and read it slowly. Let the Truth sink in. He knows your longings.  There isn't a thought in your mind, or a wish in your heart that He has not seen and noted.  And He loves you. Oh, how He loves you.

This summer, I will be going to Africa to do Speech Therapy and minister to the people there.  Speech therapy - a field I unenthusiastically joined, but joined due to the unmistakeable call of God towards it.  A field that I thought I was giving up dreams to be a part of. I thought that God was taking away some of my longings that were laid out in my open hands, when in fact, He was just asking me to trust Him. Praise Jesus.

Marriage, my friends, is just another opportunity to trust Jesus and then let Him astound and bless you.  It's okay to long for it, as long as we are trusting Him with that longing. Keep it in those open hands.  It's hard to add things to a closed fist. Let's not let our tight grip prevent us from receiving the blessings God wants to give us.