The Look...

"The Look", Original lyrics by John Newton. Music and alt. lyrics by Bob Kauflin.
©2001 Sovereign Grace Praise(BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries.

I saw one hanging on a tree
In agony and blood Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath
Will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
“I freely all forgive
This blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live”

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed 

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place 


My 'Future Filter' from years ago...

When I was seventeen I wrote out the ten characteristics my husband had to have...As I met different young men I committed to not even entertain thoughts of pursing marriage with them if they didn't have these ten traits (which wasn't always as easy as it sounds), my girlfriends and I joked and called it my 'future filter'! A few girls this past week have asked me if I could post this and I thought it was a great idea, so here they are :)

1. He Loves the Lord
2. He has a vision for his life
3. He is passionate
4. He respects me and all other women
5. He loves and wants children
6. He has a call to the ministry
7. He leads me, and will one day lead our family to the Lord
8. He is disciplined and respects authority
9. He cherishes the things that I love-my hobbies, my passions, and my dreams
10. He always places God in a priority above me as his wife, and our children.

Let me tell you, Ladies how awesome it is to read through this as a married woman, and see my husband...Praise the Lord!


To My Husband, You are my Rock...

My dearest husband, 

In the midst of all of the joy, all of the sorrow, all of the muck and guck of learning the in's and out's of someone, I pray so earnestly that you will never be unsure of my love and respect for who you are. As you know from the night we sat on the phone and it was my turn to list off why I loved you, it is certainly not limited to these ten, but here they are :) (Thank you Colleen for inspiring me to do this!)

You teach me, constantly and thoroughly. Since the night we met my relationship with the Lord has never stood still. You’ve guided me and watered me as I’ve grown and never given me a reason to doubt your knowledge and comprehension of our creator. I’m so blessed to have a husband who desires to learn truth, and so desires to share that which he has acquired.

You’re stronger than me. As a child my parents prayed that I would grow into a strong willed, confident woman. As I began to search for a husband they always told me that they knew that I needed a man who was stronger. You are the only man who has fervently strived and flourished as a leader to this woman. The fact that my passion and zeal which proves to intimidate some, in no way subdues you or stands in the way of you leading me the way you’ve been so called to do, humbles me in such a gracious way.

You’re truly a man of God. When countless other men cowered at the vision I had for a husband, you pursued me with no fear. You have shown me the eternal value in not simply claiming a title, but bathing in the love of our savior daily and seeking earnestly a relationship with Him. I am so fortunate, and you never seize to amaze me. “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men” (Song of Solomon 2:3).

You are my calm in the storm. God so brilliantly and carefully crafted me a husband who can speak calmly to me when I am anxious, stand firm when I am weak, and show the gospel to me when I allow my emotions to fog what I know in my heart is truth. You are the rock I know I can hold onto when the winds of this life throw me in every direction…you keep me grounded to the One and Only who gives us strength (2 Timothy 2:1).

You honor me. From day one you have honored me by showing me truth-even when it can be difficult. I have such a peace in knowing that you lift me up in conversation with others, you genuinely desire God’s best for our marriage, and that you will hold to the vows you spoke to me on our wedding day. You honor me by not only repenting of the sin in your own life, but by gently and lovingly confronting me about sin in my own life. By finding God’s grace in even the hard situations and constantly sanctifying me within our marriage as we, together, conform to the likeness of Christ. When you invest in relationships with my family, when you do the dishes before I get home, and when you listen to not only the jumble of words that may come out of my mouth in hard situations but truly seek the cries of my heart in each instance. The times you encourage my passions, lead me in prayer, and walk with me through the word all show honor to me as your wife, and trust me this is not a complete list!

You inspire me to be the wife I know in my heart you deserve. The beauty of our marriage is that we both feel we could never merit the love of the other and what an awesome picture of God’s grace it is…Whether it be in my understanding of our faith or my skill as a wife in confrontation and forgiveness, honoring you in my thoughts and words, or even down to my abilities as a cook, you deserve someone so wonderful and it is my joy to spend the rest of my life becoming worthy of such a man as yourself.

You lay yourself down for me, in the smallest of things, which can sometimes be harder than the biggest. The way you find joy in what I cherish means the world to me. When you go out of your way to light a candle, wipe something down, or tuck something in (when I know that this directly would not be your first choice), you show me I’m worth more to you than your convenience. By watching a chick flick, or keeping me company at the museum, you show me you love me when you place my needs (and wants!) before your own.

You are discerning.  I know I never have to fear where you lead me, baby. Whether it be the books we read, the people we seek counsel from, or where we move ourselves as a family; you, my dear husband, have demonstrated the most unparalleled gift of being able to discern the word of God and His call on your life, and it gives me such joy to be a part of this.

You love me, in a way that sends me to the foot of the cross…even when I least deserve you, there you are. You’ve chosen to push through my insecurities, weed your way through the selfishness I can show far too often, and break through my pride, pursuing my heart and soul, willingly accepting the effects of my sin in your life, and wrapping your arms around me to hold me close to you.

You Love the Lord. You seek to know Him in a way I’ve never seen in my life, You surround yourself with godly men and accountability, You create a world for us, baby, that is constantly sanctifying and redefining the way we see our heavenly father. You are the most Christ-like man the Lord could have place my heart in the hands of and I am genuinely awed by the compassion He has shown me by bringing a husband like you, to a sinner like me.

I love you, so much-You're my rock,
Your 'lil dumpling


Over the River & Through the Woods

I grew up as one of the small fortunate few that are blessed to live just a bike ride away from a wonderful place…

Grandma’s house, whichever one it was, was always a grandma’s house. Whether it be the curtains in the windows, the flowers, the vines twisting up the walk-the little things strangers account as nothing significant-this made up the entrance to a place every little boy and girl wish to go.

Perhaps as a child I couldn’t see, but as a grown woman I now realize that it’s nothing about this house that is so dear to our hearts…but the woman who through God’s grace, made it a home.

The refrigerators stuffed to the brim of unorganized goodies that she would search through joyfully to pull out the most beautiful bread loaf she found at the market, the counter sweetly covered in the fruit that she’d picked off the front yard tree that was just perfectly ripe that day. Her desk so blissfully unsorted as she pieced together a story for the paper and stopped with you to go through the pictures she’d taken that weekend with you…Grandma’s house.

The man I call Grandpa lives in this house so blessedly with a woman who loves like nothing I’ve ever seen…Never I have I heard a harsh word, an agitated statement, or so much as a grumble pass over my Grandmother’s lips-but rather it is the grace and merciful love of Christ that drips from her mouth as she speaks to you, to a stranger, or to her savior. I’ll never forget the first time my Grandma prayed over me…It was during a time when I was as a young teen rebelling against my family, my church- trying to control a life that I hadn’t realized wasn’t mine to hold…She prayed over me as I sat alone one day in my father’s office and a feeling came over me that to this day I can’t explain. Though I inwardly disagreed while she prayed, as I listened all of my bitterness melted away when heard not her words, but her heart…In all of my life I’ve never heard the voice of a person-the cry out to the Lord from an individual-as genuine as I heard it passing over my grandmother’s lips that day as she called out to God to give rest and peace to her granddaughter’s soul…

I can always count on grandma for a hug that will turn around my day; For her to tell the stories only the way she can, that can turn the most bitter and hardened person into someone who can suddenly receive this love that she send through her words…God has given my Grandma such a spirit of kindness and I am so encouraged by this.

The Bible charges us to show kindness to those who surround us, even those who hurt us, because we have been shown kindness(Romans 11:22). And though this seems to be something that is too hard to accomplish on our impatience, frustrations of life, and countless other sin patterns-In our finite reasoning it feels impossible to be merciful unless we’re first treated with such mercy. But the beautiful truth of it is that we were shown this in Christ’s love for us far before we were ever able to demonstrate any form of gratitude in return. The Bible says that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 3:23). And because of this grace we now have the ability to treat people with the love and kindness that Christ did us, simply because Biblical kindness does not find its origins in us, but in our Heavenly father. It’s not a personality trait; it’s a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22, Colossians 3:12).

Today is my dear sweet Grandmother’s birthday and I want to thank her for showing this kindness, not only to the strangers she meets, but to the loved ones such as myself in her life (Because don’t we all know, as sad as it is true: sometimes its much easier to treat a stranger with grace than a loved one). Thank you for so faithfully demonstrating Christ’s love to me even when I refused to recognize Him as the origin, and most of all for glorifying him in all that you do, whether it be through crediting him with your words, or being completely silent and praising him in your actions. You are one of the godliest women I know and I praise the Lord that through the circumstances of adoption that God through His sovereignty so intentionally aligned-you are the woman I am so, so grateful to call my Grandma.

Happy Birthday~May your days be blessed by those around you, as much as you have blessed mine…


Here I Am...

Your grace is enough.

Oh, I look towards the heavens,
And realize my size

You’re sufficient for me.
My first love; 
Take me as a child, whisper in my ears
Teach me who you are.

Your words are enough,
the world will fall so short.
Your words are enough,
for the hearts of men can never hold.
Your words are enough,
El Shaddai, your words are enough.

A love I could never earn
Pulses through my veins;
You chose me,
You chose me.

An act of incomprehensible wonder, it must be;
The wickedness that dwells within my flesh
the hatred towards he who gave me life.
For it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one…”
If they had not placed the nails, 
then the next would have returned.
And if they not, my very hands would have 
gripped the cross.
For my sin as if I were present, drove the nails;
and my sin as if I were among the crowds
chanted him towards Golgotha that day.
An act of incomprehensible love, it must be;
That by your grace I am saved,
that my new heart may desire you,
that I am changed-that I may seek you.

Oh Lord, I’m so overwhelmed-how merciful you are!
That you would still hold me in my filth,
Oh, how rank and repulsive are my thoughts,
in the ears of a holy King.
How torn and pale are the garments I come to you in;
But you call me yours…

I am so ungrateful!
So doubtful and so weak;
The limits of my mind cannot hold you,
I know nothing of you.

Give me strength,
hear and tend to my plea.
Place eyes within my keeping, not for the world,
but for you and your glory;
That I may be undone, and rid myself of illusion
Ruin me, break me,
that I may know who you are.
For you have touched my lips with live coal,
and atoned for my sins,
you have taken my place, Oh mighty redeemer.

Death is all I deserve
To which the angels would sing;
Worshipping you as the just creator 
Of the world on which you may show your wrath.
But you’ve shown mercy;
To those you have chosen,
You have shown your amazing grace.

You saw my filthy rags
and clothed me in your own,
You heard me moan in hunger
and set me among a feast as your own.
You touched my parched lips 
and filled my cup to overflowing 
You felt my body quaking,
and calmed me like a child.
You chose me.

Oh I could sing of your love forever!
Place a song within my mouth,
and music within my fingertips.
What grace,
What love,
What a marvelous light;
Oh Lord, I know nothing of you…
Show me your name,
That my face might glow with your glory.

Without you,
I’d have held my nets until the grave,
Now I desire to release them and follow,
With you, I can follow…

Here I am, you’ve chosen me,
That I might chose you.
Here I am;
Here I am.

 ©Sarah Robinson


Always My Bridesmaids

Thirty minutes. That’s how long we had before we needed everyone to be ready and me fully dolled up to tip toe over and slip into my dress. My hair was just being finished, my makeup untouched, I had to keep reminding myself to breathe….All of my bridesmaids were up to something wonderful; painting another’s toe nails, doing another’s makeup, encouraging and complimenting each other as they put on their dresses. There was curling, spraying, fluffing, and scrunching partnered with giggles, anxious squeals and the occasional nervous laugh.

I had, quite possibly, the best group of girls standing by me at my wedding that any bride could ever ask for (…no biases of course), each one of them playing an amazing role in making my wedding day a beautiful one, and in the midst of all of the excitement of sending Justin and I off into the sunset, I was only able to embrace a couple of you and share but a few words of how grateful I am for every one of you.

I’m struggling to write this…ironically I have stumbled upon whatever the opposite of writers’ block may be-the overflow of so many thoughts and emotions that one cannot possibly begin to find a way to compile them into words that could efficiently and honestly justify what is initially being felt. I want you girls to know just how grateful I am that you supported me in every way on the edge of a new chapter. Your uplifting, selfless and serving hearts made this process such a joy for me as we prepared for the day that each of us have talked about for so long…

Though I sincerely have no intent to undermine any role that the rest of my beautiful bridesmaids played, I would like to say a special thank you to my Matron of Honor for all of her hard work and dedication the past few months…whether it be throwing me a shower, never missing a fitting, or decorating my apartment for our return…she did it with such joy, and never a sense of burden-if I needed her, she was there. The morning of my wedding that I began to describe earlier, was a morning that showed me more than ever how important being my matron of honor was to her…Amidst the beautiful chaos as the time ticked by and the wedding ceremony was less than an hour away, my matron of honor stood behind me pinning the last stray hairs and securing a flower under my curls-still in her clothes from that morning, no make up, hair in a pony-tail and not worrying about anything but her bride. She was my voice when I was too overwhelmed to speak that morning, my brain when mine had turned to mush and I couldn’t think, and one of many supports I leaned on that day to make it what I’d dreamed. You, my dear sister in Christ, were and you still are such a gift to me…short of Justin, you were my first friend here in Texas and you welcomed me with such loving enthusiasm…I could not have imagine this process without you…

Every one of you is so dear to me. Each one of you holds an amazingly unique and special place in my heart…Thank you for being as fun as I needed you to be when I was becoming overwhelmed. Thank you for being as calm as I needed you to be when I needed to rest. For being as crazy as I needed you to be when I needed to let loose. For being as helpful as I needed you to be when I needed to take a break. For being as discerning as I needed you to be when I couldn’t make decisions anymore. And most of all, thank you for being as faithful to me as I needed you to be when I was entering a huge change in my life. I am so blessed to know women like the six of you...so encouraged to be a part of each of your lives-regardless of how distant or near that involvement can be at this time…so, so blessed.

My bridesmaids, my dear sweet bridesmaids-My wedding has passed and I’m a married woman now-almost two weeks! But you six will always be my bridesmaids.

I miss you all so much…You each-almost every one of you-came from different parts of the country and it saddens me that I don’t get to see you as often as I’d love (except one of you, yay!) I pray so earnestly that you enjoyed being a part of Justin and my wedding as much as we enjoyed having you…Thank you for bearing with me during my times of stress, balancing dangerously on ladders into the late hours of the night decorating, embarrassing me to my core as you stood by and let me be serenaded by a stranger during my bachelorette party, line dancing in my living room at two in the morning the day of the wedding, coming before a merciful God and laying hands on me as I stood in my long white dress, and wiping my tears for me the whole time because my hands were holding yours…Thank you…


Where's My Pen?

An Avid Journaler Accepting the Convenience of Technology...

When you first walk in the door of our home you can see our entire apartment from where you first stand. My husband and I have found ourselves in our first home, our humble little one bedroom residence. As you kick off your shoes to the left of the door, right of the couch-where our sneakers and rain boots have somehow found their own home-our kitchen falls to the right, decorated with red and white checkered curtains, spices line the top of the stove, and a tea kettle rests gently on its center. Look left now and you’ll see our living room-oh watch out for that lamp there, we haven’t seemed to find a better place to put it yet-and as I was saying, our bedroom is through the doorway ahead. My new husband Justin and I have just experienced the blessing of joining the belongings of two people into one space and its made for quite a cozy result. Where neither of us have ever owned enough of anything to fill an entire apartment, suddenly together by the grace of God, we make a home.

When you walk ahead a few steps we have a small table, on top of which sits our “go to” tray…A serving tray quaintly peppered with your every day things: A small porcelain bowl for spare change that sits on top of the latest coupons I’ve found.  A small bottle of scented hand sanitizer, A check or two that needs to be run to the bank, a candle, possibly a few thumb tacks, and at the end of the day Justin’s wallet adjusts in quite comfortably. About eight inches south of there is my journal shelf; reading glasses, and favored pens find a space here too, but amidst the stacks of books there’s room for little else. I started journaling when I was in the seventh grade-a very difficult year for me…To say the least I could open up an entire new blog titled “Junior high school,” but we’ll keep it with just this for now! Mostly poetry came out of me, that and short stories, it was finally an emotional outlet that was somewhat constructive…I went through notebooks and notebooks in a matter of months, before I had Christ this was my haven in my times of struggle, it was someone who’d listen and do just that. The past few years I have found such a comfort in writing…I can get-shall we say distracted quite easily, so I began writing during my time in prayer, letters-if you will-to my creator…Tears of joy and sorrow, my convictions, my struggles, everything inside my heart out through the tip of a pen. I learned very quickly that I loved this! Being able to flip through pages and see how God was working, even through old journals prior to my salvation when I felt he was nowhere to be found, I see now his hand moving so faithfully through each entry.

I am, to say the least, one of many geeks in my family. I love technology, I love electronics, I love gadgets and tools, Star wars was-and still is- a regular conversation topic among my four brothers and I, along with binary, the latest updates on the apple website, the fill in on Stargate, and a debate over computer operating systems. Electronic journaling (ie: blogging) is something you’d think I’d have taken care of long, long ago-and I have to say even though I’m pumped about starting a blog, there’s a sense of disinclination within me…Something about just me and blank pages, my favorite pen (only a writer can appreciate that…), being alone and just writing...its something you can’t reproduce with keys and a computer screen, it’s a kind of serenity that can’t be replicated. However I’m constantly running into the dilemma of wanting to share with others my journey, what the Lord is doing in my life, in my marriage… what He’s doing in my heart. 

So my dear readers, all of this was to say that this is going to be a blog of my life and the things that God is doing through this vapor of a breath he’s so graciously gifted me. I’ll talk about my joys and hardships as a newlywed, share recipe’s, cleaning tips, my art, poetry and songs…and most importantly what God is teaching me through it all. I pray that this may become an uplifting place for women of all ages to come, that you might clear off a space on your bedside table for this journal I’m writing for you to rest as you possibly encounter life as I do, reminisce on the things as I provoke memories of events that have come to pass in your life, or possibly stir dreams as you wait patiently on the Lord for such events to occur…I pray most that through everything I may write on this page that God be glorified, for what greater purpose is there for our lives than this! So join me as I embark on this journey of learning…and as a dear sister in Christ put it: not only learning how to do, but how to be(See her blog!)

So feel free to pop in as convenient, pull my little book off the nook in your shelf as I share my life with you—and your life to me in return! It is my desire to be a breath of fresh air in your day, and I pray that God will extend me the grace to be just that…

~Sarah sue