When I Sin, Fall, Fail, Backslide…

…I need to remember these scriptural truths to hold tightER to Jesus!

Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (2016 version: “Cleanse me with bleach/baking soda and I will be clean.”)

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

I found myself going to worship and praying, asking the Holy Spirit to come and fill this place (my spirit, my soul, my flesh)… of course, I felt ashamed, guilty, and sad. It feels counter-intuitive to run to God instead of away from Ā Him, honestly. However, I resolved to meditate on these scriptures so I can hear the voice of Truth, which guards & undergirds my relationship and intimacy with God. (It’s my belt! My pants fall down if I don’t have my belt on šŸ˜› Albert Tate gives a great teaching on it.) Like Steve Chua said, when we fail, we need to run towardsĀ Daddy and into HisĀ arms of love and grace, not runĀ away fromĀ Him; HeĀ LOVES the darkness out of us.

MSW / Mental Health reflection
Since I’m a budding social work practitioner, IĀ naturallyĀ integrate my Social WorkĀ learningĀ when I reflect on spiritual matters. Interestingly enough (though notĀ surprisingly), I’ve found that meditating on Scripture with the Spirit’s guidance can lead (super)naturally to mental & emotional processes similar to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), and MI (Motivational Interviewing). The Holy Spirit might ask me some tough CBT/DBT-esque questions through the bible verses I’mĀ reflecting on, and do some Motivational Interviewing with me to get to the heart of the matter. In the end though, however it happens, it comes down to me taking ownership and responsibility for my actions and the current situation I’m in. Then I can begin deciding to seeĀ thingsĀ differently (through God’s eyes) and then responding with changed behavior.

Sanctification = Changed Behavior (but from the inside out, motivated by a dynamic process led by the Holy Spirit and Scripture).


I ā¤ Jesus.

Thank you, Lord.


SpeShhhial Education

I get to proctor midterm exams for a few students who are in our special education program. I love these kids, but I am going to confess that it’s difficult for me to feel I’m adequately serving them! My patience, resourcefulness, and creativity run dry more quickly than I’d like to admit, and I marvel more at my friends in “SpEd” as they patiently and calmly instruct and guide these special students.

I am learning a lot from working with them though – one thing is that most students benefit from something called “redirecting” where the instructor directs their focus back to their activity, such as putting a finger up to the mouth and implying “Shhh” when a student repeatedly looks up and disengages from their work.

I find myself being in spiritual and emotional/mental SpEd as I have to ask the Holy Spirit to constantly redirect my focus and attention back to the activity He has assigned me for my learning and growth. My development is slow and lopsided, but the Spirit is so patient and creative with me, working with me non-stop to bring me closer to maturity and intimacy with the Lord.

april desktop-final largedesktop LaraCasey_204_Laptop

When did gold foil become so popular?

I love it šŸ™‚

I also love free, pretty printable & downloads!

And winter-spring 2015 fashion!

I walked into 2 stores (this one and that one) in the past week that were just spring in full pastel bloom with mint green, lavender, soft pink, softĀ coral, peach, and gold/silver tones… I wanted everything XDĀ All my favorite colors, they just beamed at me from the shelves and racks, it was kind of like a relaxing color oasis for me to just stand around, taking all the pretty in ^_^

For now, I’m quiteĀ content with my pretty work-appropriateĀ mint green chiffonĀ blouseĀ (which strangely, I couldn’t find a pic for on the Charming Charlie site!), beaded headbands (that were happily on sale, since I always thought they were too expensive, even though I’ve basically overused the gold one LS gave me to threads!), and these pretty pastel spring wallpapers for my laptop desktop šŸ˜‰ OH, I seriously love that many of these designers and artisan/culture-makers are fellow believers ā¤

Be Still by Julie Song
Be Still by Julie Song

Janet Jun, aka Smashed Saint, spoke at s.h.e. this past Saturday about the Artisan’s calling/ministry of creative expression and it was heady (did she go to seminary? sure sounded like it!) but awesome and HILARIOUS nonetheless. Her hair was turquoise, blue, lavender and purple, and she is so funny, confident, and authentic – what a joy to hear her share poetry, vision, and her testimony! AND I always love when Audrey leads prophetic worship – that’s always a heavenly treat for my soul ^_^Ā To top it off, Emily did eventually get toĀ join us, and though weĀ didn’t talk much, it was just wonderful to spend time with such vibrant and beautiful women ā¤

*feeling so blessed & beautiful inside*

The Healthy Relationship pie chart

I enjoy reading these insightful blog entries by The Lovely Addict!

The Lovely Addict

This is the hardest thing to understand, but a healthy relationship should not be based on LOVE alone. Thatā€™s when we tend to get ourselves into trouble. We thinkĀ love will save the day, andĀ love conquers all. IT DOES NOT. You have to like a person, you have to trust a person, feel stable with them, feel unintimidated. They have to be nice, kind, respectful, loving, they have to SHARE YOUR SAME VALUESā€¦and you have to be all those things for that person in return.

When we take a look at the Healthy Relationship pie, love is only one slice, not the whole darn pie. So, in dating, push the idea of love aside, and see if youā€™ve got all the other things to build on.Ā In my case, LOVE was not what attracted or sustained D and I in the beginning. And why should it haveā€¦

View original post 352 more words

Two quotes.

Four years later and I’m still learning this…

Reflections of a Redeemed Reprobate

ā€œAfter a while, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, And you learn that love doesn?t mean leaning and company doesn?t mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren?t contracts and presents aren?t promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow?s ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure? That you really are strong. And that you really do have worth. ==> People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive themā€¦

View original post 132 more words

3.18.15 Forgetting the Self in Prayer

Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW

It is not enough
to give my heart
to G-d
for my own peace.

I give You my heart
for the peaceof the world,
for every personin the world,
for all life living.

Every pain,every sadness,
every hurt and heartache,
I give You,
for Your healing.

I was sad one day. Turning to G-d in prayer, I found my greatest relief, my greatest ā€œletting goā€ of all that bothered me, in forgetting myself completely and praying only for others.

Asking G-d for things is only a part of prayer ā€” and a small one, at that. Itā€™s called ā€œpetitioningā€ or ā€œpetitionary prayer.ā€

The higher purpose of prayer is for us to forget ourselves completely.

Petitionary prayer has the danger of going on for too long. It can turn into an endless recitation of all that we think is wrong and an unending begging of G-d that allā€¦

View original post 141 more words

Considering again…


I’ve always had this wild streak in me, sinceĀ I’m one of those “free-spirited women,” to have platinum blonde, short (if not shaved) hair. These days Kelly Osbourne’s lavender mohawk’s been tempting me to go punk & pastel, but I also like the sleek look here of this Asian gal šŸ˜‰

I almost shaved my head on my last day in India, but wasn’t ready for the big change yet. Maybe this year as I turn 32 years old?


Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.46.38 PM