Tuesday, December 31, 2013

dreaming dreams

(The following is an email I sent out to the parents in a weekly update, but I think it was more for me than them
Hello :)
Happy merry Christmas New Year week :) Hope your break is going well.
Now is a time of dreams, as the next year unfolds before us we have dreams and hopes, and ambitions. We would love to hear what your dreams are. Yesterday Eph 3:20-21 popped up again in my life (it's been haunting me for over a year)... Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
What dreams is he wanting to take(claim, gain) glory in through us? And are we up to dreaming, no matter where it takes us?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

(Sneak preview on our "Thank you" letter) shh don't tell ;)

Hope this finds you well. We thought instead of standard "thank you" card we'd send out a little "Life Update" seeing how we have not gotten to chat with each of you, and curious minds like to know!

But First! We felt so blessed by all of your kindness and generosity, it blew our minds. Thank you :)

Dan and I got married August 17rh midst family and friends. (a lot of family and many friends)We had been praying God would show up, and really wanted him to be the center of the "Big Day". In true God form, he showed up and touched hearts left and right. (He's pretty cool)

For our honeymoon we headed north for a breathtaking trip to the San Juan Islands, where we saw whales, kayaked, picked up every hitch hiker we could find, became friends with a seal and discovered our own island.

Back in Portland we settled into our cute 1 bedroom apartment with mountain views. It's a great "God Story" how we ended up with it. We have super landlords who take fantastic care of us. I (Anna) feel safe when Dan is working long nights and Dan doesn't feel "stuck" in the city.

Dan has started his finale year at Western Seminary and will (hopefully) graduate in April '14 (which we are thrilled about).  Our dream is that Dan will be able to travel and speak to Christians challenging them to live a life full of God's Holy Spirit. Dan's next step... he wants to intern starting fall '14 to get some more training and experience. 

I, Anna am enjoying getting to work at our church Montavilla with the children's ministry.  I also nanny a lot (which supplies me with countless stories)  and am still a Batista on the sly;) My next step... to continue to grow the childern's ministry to a healthy, thriving, bursting with God culture.

Dan and I are excited to dream big dreams with God. And we're looking forward to what he has up his sleeve (though we aren't sure what it is). We would love to encourage people in their relationship with God, and truly live out who he has designed them to be.  Be it someone Dan gets on opportunity to speak with or one of the many kiddos in my life, we hope God uses us somehow to zap that person in a "only God can explain this" kinda way.

We hope this give you a little look into our life. We both love to talk so feel free to continue the conversation.
Thank you again for your generosity and well wishes!

joy & peace,
Annie & Dan Abbott

"...A promise of the Spirit coming and flooding our lives..."

  (This is a part of a larger thought, it may be more clear if you start with "... a girl...")

 "...A promise of the Spirit coming and flooding our lives..."
It seems everywhere I turn this is the subject on peoples lips, said maybe slightly differently but still this idea of not lies, doubt, greed or self but the pure Spirit of God overwhelming us. Being what spills out when we open our moths to speak. The view we make decisions from. the drum beat we dance to.

 This last weekend I ran into this idea head on... a situation blew way out proportion through some loud opinionated "suggestions" "beliefs".  I had unintancialy done something someone considered disrespectful and in return that person "let me know". If this had been me and the queen she would have let me know while sipping tea calmly that what I did was a little off and I would have said sorry for offending and asked her if she wanted sugar in her tea and that would have been the end.


Thats not how it went down, I cried other people got involved, I ran off and she stormed off.
Now what do we do? Both her and I believe in Jesus as our savior and God as our father and now as sisters must come together and reconcile. There has to be an act 2. If I truly believe the Spirit can come and flood our lives I have to believe he can work this out and change our hearts to be more like his. I can't give into lies, or doubt, I can't be righteous I must be gracious... My name means "God is gracious". I have to believe I don't know best (no matter how much my brain tells me I do) and instead ask God what he wants done and how I'm to act as him or... let himself act through me.

Monday, September 23, 2013


A speech for my cousin's wedding. She is like a sister.

Amanda was born on my 6 1/2 month birthday. We spent her first Christmas at her baptism. And then every family holiday after that we were inseparable, under tables, on walks, chatting in the kitchen, always together, talking over life, sharing stories, hiding from our brothers.

When we were in grade school, my parents took their kids on a Jesus loving Volkswagen powered adventure across Europe.

Amanda faithfully wrote to me. I have letters and drawings and Popsicle art from her. You may have recently learned of Amanda's artistic side but I have proof it was blossoming decades ago.

Amanda's faithfulness to letters is a just a word picture for you of the faithful friend she is to so many.  Amanda always continues being someone's friend no matter where they are. It doesn't matter if they're roommates, neighbors, colleagues or live a few countries away, Amanda keeps the friendship alive.

If they are doing well, can laugh at life or really can only cry it doesn't matter. Amanda loves them with all her love. Truly with the passion Jesus has given her. Nothing stops her from being your well caring friend.

Amanda, the 11 of us on the stage today have each been poured into and blessed by you. Thank you!

I am so very happy for you and Randy and wish you the very best.
To the bride and groom :)

"...and part of a promise..."

 (This is a part of a larger thought, it may be more clear if you start with "... a girl...")
So just like any human lots of doubt can float through my brain.  "What did that really mean?" "What could really happen?" "Am I the one for the task?... probably not"

If you remember back to the fantastic pray summits I've been to... there have been some pretty cool, nope mind blowing prayers prayed over me.

Part of the prayer is that my generation will come to God. Seek God as their God. That I get to be apart of this title wave.

Life and lies set in and I thought there's no way I can live out those prayers, they are a dream that is simply fading away.

Then some light and clarity got into my foggy brain.

What if I believed it was possible? What if I believed that through me God could do whatever crazy thing he wanted? What if I lived my life in a way that I expected them to come true instead of wondering?

As I see it I have two choices; I can either spend every day choosing to forget, or choosing to believe.   

Monday, September 16, 2013

"... a sister..."

 (This is a part of a larger thought, it may be more clear if you start with "... a girl...")

sister |ˈsistər|
1 a woman or girl in relation to other daughters and sons of her parents.
• a sister-in-law.
• a close female friend or associate, esp. a female fellow member of a labor union or other organization.
• (often Sister) a member of a religious order or congregation of women.

A couple years ago our church did a serious called "Blue and Pink Elephant- a look at sexuality". Part way through the series I told one of my brothers (Andrew) that I wanted to have a husband so I could put into practice 'being a godly woman & making a guy feel like a man' to with Andrew wisely answered: "Well you already have 3 brothers and a dad, you could start with them." ... yep.

We aren't supposes to just live past anyone in this life, act like their not there or we have nothing to say. Instead we have the opportunity to breath life into people... and who do we have the most opportunity with? Those we live with. We expect teachers and pastors to be lifegivers, what if brothers and sisters were too?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"... a daughter..."

(This is a part of a larger thought, it may be more clear if you start with "... a girl...")

This word first started rolling around in my head last May. I was listening to Chris Brown story tell Jesus healing the woman who had been sick for 12 years. Right there in the story Jesus calls this grown woman "daughter".
Tomorrow night I'm teaching at Sycamore about God's heart for kids, and how kids can listen to what the Spirit tells them. In the midst of that the plan is it'll be pointed out that we are God's children. (1John 3:1)
Really what's been on the forfront of my mind is a picture of me sitting on the couch with God and I am crying. Crying a lot. Letting all the tears flow and the sobs come. Crying because I'm scared I haven't shown him that I love him, nerves that he'll decided I'm not dependable and give up on me. Sitting and crying with these thoughts. But I'm not siting alone. Remember I'm on the couch with God.  He's letting me hide in his shoulder as I non verbally voice all my worries and fears.

God is brilliant and loving. When he gave me that picture of my heart he didn't just make it up but used my memory. There was a evening were I was distraught over something that my seem ridiculous to the passer by but to me it was shaking my world.  My dad sat with me, crying with me, feeling my sorrow and wanting to take it away. Not because what was hurting me was large and evil but because he is my dad, and he doesn't want to see his daughter in woe.  I have never had to prove my love to my dad. He has loved me since before I was born, nothing I do can change that love.

God was using this memory and this picture of my dad to try to tell me with him it's the same. He wants me to go ahead and crawl on his lap and cry about the silly lies that have been running in my mind and ringing out my heart. He wants me to rest at peace and joy in him, in our relationship together instead of always being worried whether or not he is disappointed in me. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

"... maybe a prophetess..."

(This is a part of a larger thought, it may be more clear if you start with "... a girl...")

Honestly this one thought, this one descriptive word: "prophetess" is why I originally had such hesitation in writing....  "This whole post was started today by doing battle with myself whether or not I could share a responsive journal entry to the question 'What's your story?'

How does one know for sure they are a prophet? Isn't that a somewhat conceited thing to think about ones' self? Sure you could be, but if you honestly  know that divine, eternal, all knowing, all powerful God has reached his hand in to your life and given you a gift so you might join him in the restoration of all creation, it would be humbling

Probably the best way I can describe prophet is "truth speaker". Truth from God to the person God says to share it with. Nothing fancy, just truth. I'm not sure how this is different then other people listening to God and speaking.... I think I'll be able to share more insight further down the rode.

Currently I'm in the midst of a journey about this. Trying to learn to quiet my heart to ask and hear what God says, then say it. Not to come up with my own words or delay his or hold it back, but to be faithful in all (including words) that he has given me. 

The ending is already known: this gift is not for my own glory, but for the glory of God

Friday, December 14, 2012

What's Christmas without cupcakes?

Dream job. That's what I have. I get to think things up then make them happen. Reality is my ideas are kinda good, like normal cake vs. my great grandma's cake. My ideas are normal cake and God's ideas are crazy good, like my great grandma's cake. Thankfully God is invested in me and my job and shares his ideas with me. Sometimes we're in sync from the beginning sometimes he shows up last minute with a "saving the day-out of thin air" brilliant idea. Last week was one of those times.

All of October & November- Knew I had Kid's Christmas Night. Thought it would come together. Got caught off guard, things fell through :/ wrong type of falling. Started really praying about it as November was rounding it's bend. Was completely unsure about what was going to happen.

Tuesday-ready to cancel the whole night, talked it over with my parents. Decided it'll be okay, still doable.

Wednesday- After a lonnng talk with Randy I started pulling people in, asking them to do what they do well.

Saturday- returned a few texts

Sunday 2pm- show up to a task force starting to hit full swing

Sunday 4pm- the room has been transformed, the kids mouths are gaping & are wide eyed.

Next 2 hours there's sugar and glitter flying! A stellar movie shown by Backyard Studios Dancing, pictures being taken and people who worship together meeting each other. (at last)

6pm-7pm everything gets torn down. You wouldn't know the kid party of the year had just happened.  :)

God has such good ideas.  He honestly is the only one who can take the smallest amount of credit for how amazingly well it went.  I'm glad I get to be along for the ride :)