Sunday, December 25, 2011

sappy stuff.



I’d be lying if I said I was completely satisfied with my writing skills in this particular blog entry. I’m definitely a “words” person, but it seems I can never pick the best words to say what I want to say at the right time. Later, at the most inopportune time, those words will all come to me, and I’ll have to talk to myself and resist the urge to completely change this. But I’m telling myself the point of this blog is simply to let a few people know how much they mean to me, and “Allyson, no one really cares if you used the word “shaping” or “determining”. (that was me talking to myself…)

So, on to it…

This year has been one of the most “shaping” years of my life. I don’t know how else to say it.

I started thinking about some beautiful people that have definitely played a part in this shifting that took place within me this year, and I felt the need to thank them. This was the best way I knew how…




My beautiful sister. She got married about a month ago to this ridiculously great guy.
I can’t put it into words (go figure), but I tried to put it into song once. Take a listen if you didn’t already. So Ames and Joel, thank you for teaching me the beauty of true love and joy with one another this year.

Song--> http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2633872803803&set=t.1403730027&type=3&theater#!/photo.php?v=2633872803803



My parents. I saw this quote on a card in a quaint little shop in St. Augustine the other day, and me, being the cheapo that I am, decided to take a picture of it rather than buy it. (Just in case I needed use of it any time soon)

I guess this is me “using” it.

“The truth is. Even if she weren’t my Mom I would go out of my way to be friends with her.” (Let’s go ahead and apply this one to dad too.)


This year that unexpected thing happened. That thing that people always tell you will happen one day… except, you never believe it when your young and full of teenage angst towards the people that love you the most, simply because you can’t go to so-and-so’s house or to what’s his face’s party. You don’t want to hear it then…

But. It’s absolutely true.

Your parents can become your friends.
And mine, have become some of my closest.



My Unveiled family. I could go on for days. I’ve never felt such love and freedom in a place of ministry. Truly. (And I’ve grown up around ministry…) I love you guys. (I couldn't find a picture to capture all of us at our best, so don't feel unappreciated if you're not pictured. Cuz that's just not the truth.)




My NC family. I will always claim to be from the South simply because I want people to know I am connected with you people. You know who you are. Any time I take anyone “home”, they tell me I have some of the rarest/best friends. I always reply with, “I know.”











My Dive Sisters, Rita, and Anthony. (Tiffany too!) You guys broke off every negative misconception I had built up of women in ministry. (And believe me, I had a few…) I think the world of all of you. I’ve crafted more songs than ever because of the encouragement you all threw on me.
















My Diddi. (Crystal) We traveled the world together. Cried together. Laughed at men with red thongs sticking out of their dad jeans together. You’re my big sister. I believe I can do almost anything if you think I can.









My Florida friends. (And yes, some of you have moved away and such)You know who you are. I’m getting emotional just typing this…so I’m just gonna stop typing and post some pictures, since my eyes are a bit cloudy at the moment. You guys…awwe shucks…well yeah…


Here goes…


















And that's all I've got, folks.
Just been doing some analyzing, and I think I agree with this somewhat cheesy quote on friendship:

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

And grateful I am...



Thursday, September 15, 2011

if you wear green, i'll wear green.

Today I woke up wanting to go back in time.

I could change a few things there.

Put a few things back together.

Leave that scene before I said too much.

Be a little less vulnerable on that Tuesday.

Less hurtful on that Friday.

I’d linger on that bench just long enough for you to get the courage to speak what you wanted to say that one night.

That one night when the moon was mockingly bigger than most nights. When my favorite candy was your favorite candy. And we’d laugh at the same jokes as we sat side by side confused at our chance meeting there in matching color schemes.

But I didn’t notice it then.

This time I’d listen to you.

I'd listen well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

car talk.

Poetry tends to come to me at the most inconvenient of times. Take what you will of this. Tomorrow I probably will find something wrong with it.


And I’m sitting in my car.

Yes, before I know it, I’m sitting here.

In my car.

Engine off.

Door open.
Just enough to blanket the dead silence from within
By allowing a couple of finches to share their comments on the cheek of the moon.
"My, how he’s drawing attention to his figure tonight."

I am alone now.
I am alone now.

And I am sitting in my car.
And I can finally hear it:

The steady sound of my heartbeat in perfect rhythm to the pace of his tread.

And before I know it,

I’m still sitting here.

In my car

Realizing that has to mean something.

Monday, August 1, 2011

he knows what he's doing.

You know,

That 8th grade party you were once dying to go, and mom and dad so humiliatingly said no. I mean, gosh, your reputation was at hand. How dare they.

Later on you found out the importance of you not being there.

You know,

Those desires and places in life you were once dying to go, and God so humiliatingly said no. I mean, gosh, your reputation was at hand. How dare He.

Later on you found out the importance of you not being there.

doing love.

“The truth is, love was never just intended to be, it was intended to do. DC Talk had it right when they wrote the song “Love Is a Verb” (or rather, “luv”). That’s the truth.

Frankly, it’s the hardest verb you will ever do. It’s a verb that requires a selflessness and altruism beyond any other experience on earth. It’s a verb that is not always felt but must always be chosen. It is a commitment to do what is right, even though the one standing before you may be entirely undeserving.”

I won’t lie. I’m a big fan of those initial feelings one feels when they’re first “falling”.
But when those feelings are not at their peak and the person you’re committed to says something with a little less tact than usual,

Love must be done.

I’ve also heard these words from a dad who counseled married couples for years, and from my parents’ example, I’ll never forget to look past the emotions of it all and experience what it means to do love.

Might as well start practicing.

pandas and punctuation.


For all of you that make fun of my constant “grammar-Nazi-like” habits, stop reading now.


The rest of you, get ready for a nerdy English teacher read.

My mom just loaned me a book entitled Eats, Shoots and Leaves: the Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, and I am in love with the title alone.

I promise I’ll prove my point and be done.

Watch this.

So if a panda bear eats shoots and leaves…

Well sure, the panda has a pretty basic bear-like diet, and I’m a little bored out of my mind.

But, if a panda bear eats, shoots and leaves, well…
Let’s just ask ourselves who the victim of this unusual homicide might be. ☺


Anyhow, maybe Becky Renko will appreciate this.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a small part of my thoughts lately.


I’m not really sure how to sum up the last month of DIVE school and India into one blog entry.

I have this problem with being so wrapped up in significant moments/trips that I fail to take good pictures and journal often. It’s as if I don’t want to press pause on what’s happening in front of me, I’d rather just experience it. Of course this comes back and “bites me in the butt” most of the time, so let me just say this: If you’re interested in knowing more, let’s make arrangements to get coffee or something. I’ve been jot-listing my thoughts in this head of mine, and I may be able to spit it out to you in some sort of rationalized order better in person.

All that being said,


I’ll share a small part of what I came away with:

There are times when obeying God requires much more sacrifice than we Christians are OK with. (Don’t worry. I won’t go off on a rant about American Christianity. For now let’s just say Christians.)

This sacrifice may be in the form of giving up money.

Fashion.

Food.

Close vicinity to family and friends.

Dignity.

Comforts.

It may ask that you learn a new language.

Be content with not receiving your desires.

Give up something of worth for the sake of gaining another’s soul to the kingdom of God.
You may not be completely leaving your home and selling all you have to move to Angola, but I believe dedication in ministry does require sacrifice of some kind. And if you’re not feeling that, you’re probably doing it wrong.




Effective ministry isn’t always our idea of beautiful. Or maybe I should use the word prosperous. It isn’t enjoyable at times. Sure, there is joy in fulfilling and obeying what God requires of you, but joy is not always equivalent with prosperity. You may not have success in numbers. Even conversions/salvations may be minimal.

Yeah, I know. I’m not the first to say it. It’s just been in my face lately.

And it may be a very trying process, requiring years of consistent acts of love to the unlovable.

Sometimes I look up simple words that I’ve grown accustomed to just knowing, to see if the dictionary definition brings new life to it for me. I looked up loveable.

Loveable: inspiring or deserving of love or affection.

Now, reverse that.

We’re supposed to love those that are uninspiring/undeserving of our love.

I’ve met people in the last two months that have inspired me. They’re real. They’re ministering in completely different atmospheres, but they’re equally effective in loving people in their vastly different environments, and bringing glory to God in all of it.

They’re lives are messy at times. But, it seems that every trial they face brings them closer to an understanding of why God has them in their present place. They’re fueled in their pursuits through times of hardship.

In all of this, they don’t believe they deserve to be honored and praised. Even honored and praised by God, as we sometimes tend to think. It’s just what the Lord asked of them. Why wouldn’t they keep doing what they’re doing?

Luke 17:7-10 7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

I needed to see this.

I needed to meet them.

It’s beautiful really. Dying to self.

And, it’s taken on a completely different meaning in my life.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say it scared me some. I just know it’s expected of me.

And whether I get my huge “thank you” or not, I’ll do it.

Do it out of my love for Him.

Friday, July 1, 2011

here we go.

Crystal and I are sitting in the Newark airport trying to kill our 8-hour layover with a deck of cards, magazines, and quite a few hours of people watching (our favorite). Airports really are the best places for that.
We've even spied our favorite flyer of the day: a man displaying a red thong out of his surprisingly "dad-like" attire. Crystal caught this treasured moment, and I'm not sure I'll be able to compete with her on this one. This guy wins, hands down.
Ok, yes we're feeling a bit delirious at the moment from the traveling and this unexpected encounter, but we are ecstatic about this trip. We just spent a few moments reflecting in the speed at which God supplied the funds for this endeavor, and it's quite surreal and humbling to actually be in this place about to board this flight.
There's an expectancy about us. It's going to wreck us. We know that. But, our minds can't comprehend what's to come. We're ok with that though, and we can feel your prayers already.
While we are in Nainital, India, we will be living in a girl's orphanage and teaching, playing, ministering and falling in love with the kids there.
Please pray for our safety. Yes, traveling such long distances can cause some apprehension, but pray for our encounters with people. May they be safe, meaningful and favorable.
Pray for receptive minds. We want to share the Lord with these people in a way that makes them feel loved, cherished and purposeful.
Pray for our hearts. That we may grow daily in compassion for the lost and hurting. That we may be changed and effected.
Most importantly, pray for the people of India.

We can't wait to share stories of his faithfulness and beauty. We love you.

-Allyson and Crystal

P.S.- I spared you all a photo of red thong man. Yeah, you're welcome. ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

plates.

“Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.” -Acts 10:34-35

There’s no specific type of person that God is longing to reveal Himself too. He’s open to all.

Just one of those days I’m so thankful God doesn’t think like me. I’d be serving out plates of grace to a few, and the majority would be left chewing on an exceptionally large portion of leftover resentment.

That may have been too honest.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

get it together.

Many men go fishing all their lives not knowing it is not fish they are after.
–Henry David Thoreau


Sometimes I have to remind myself that there’s not another Al Hurndon.

There never will be.

No one will think like I do.

No one will make mistakes like I do.

No one has or will have the same responsibilities that I do and will.

Not everyone will come in contact with the same people that I do.

And, if you think this is a cocky post, you’re wrong. It’s a terrifying post.

Knowing that I, Allyson Hurndon, have one chance to get this whole “life” thing right.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

yes, question your motives.

Kara Crosby and I met over coffee the other day. It had been months since we’d talked, so we found ourselves discussing everything that came to our minds. We hit the important stuff first: jobs, love lives, families, etc. And to an outsider, it must have been entertaining to listen in, as we packed months of life into about thirty minutes of dialogue.

But like most conversations I have with this woman, we found ourselves spilling out God’s pushes, shoves and uncomfortable movement in our lives.
I don’t remember the context, where it came from, or how we ended up stuck on it for so long, but suddenly we both began to confess our distaste for what we both called modern day Pharisees. My distaste followed with a serious heart-check and a realization that at times my motives have been like these men.

These verses from Matthew 23 sum up quite a bit:

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.[a] 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.[b] 6 And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’[c]

8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.[d] 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I’d be foolish to think that these men only lived two thousand years ago, and that I can’t relate to them at all. I truly wish I could say that. But there are times where I’ve lived for that earthly exaltation alone.

Holiness does not have to be proven. No need to parade it around for your Christian friends to get a glimpse of. Your “supreme” knowledge of the ways of God isn’t helping anyone. It’s distasteful. It’s disgusting. Few can trust or relate to you anyways. Don’t share simply to gain recognition.

But gosh, if we are doing something semi-beneficial to humanity, the least we can do is “instagram” that moment real quick, add a nice filter, post it on twitter, feel good about ourselves, and call it a day.

Share things with the intention of building the church.

Of expanding the kingdom.

And even at the end of all this, I sincerely question my own motives for even writing it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

dave.

Dear Dave Lapham,

I didn't feel like I gave you a proper goodbye, so...

My favorite memories are of us throwing Frisbees til’ three in the morning while playing Tempur Trap over and over.

Going to downtown Orlando and photographing everything and everyone we could.

Acting like we’re talented enough to host our own reality show.


You are:

One of a kind.
Reliable.
Driven.
Sarcastic.
Dashingly handsome.
Awkward.
One of my favorite people in the world.


I don’t deserve such a good friend.
Love you, brother.
Miss you.
See you in Nashville soon. (I’ll make sure of it.)

-AL

(P.S. This is my brother, people. Don’t take it out of context and make it weird.)

video

India.

OK, so I introduced it briefly in my last post, but here is the big news I’ve been holding out on fully saying.

I AM GOING TO INDIA! (Yes, I am shouting here…those were intentional capital letters.)

Not forever folks, but for two weeks. This July I’ll be working and living in an orphanage with a co-worker/friend of mine, Crystal Kemper.

I had never planned on going to India. I had never desired to go to India. In fact, this became a place in my mind that I had written-off as “somewhere I need not venture to”. Nothing about this country drew my attention.

That is until recently.

My heart is heavy for these kids that I haven’t met yet. I can almost see their smiles in my mind and picture the details of their individual faces. I am itching to be there. To be with them and love them. To somehow express Christ through my actions towards them. To serve these people that I once was so apathetic towards.

I am in awe of the Lord on this one. For those of you that know me, I am usually pretty practical (perhaps overly so) when it comes to trips and money and being responsible with what you have been given. But on this one, I’m letting God take it.

Now, don’t hear this wrong. I am not saying it is good to be irresponsible with money, knowing that God will provide anyways. Not at all!
For me, God is testing my faith. He’s allowing me to trust. Forcing me to rest in a time when my initial reaction would be to become overwhelmed, anxious and stressed.

The Kicker: I need to raise $2600 in less than two months. I’ll be selling headbands, hosting a game/Bingo night and putting on a benefit show in order to make this trip a reality. Your help means more than you could possibly realize. It would make my year to be able to raise more than this amount and bless this orphanage with extra funds.
Be on the lookout for a video I’ll be posting soon with updates on the events I’ll be hosting.

I leave you with this: Be on the look out for what the Lord may have in store. Expect the unexpected.

And just maybe, He’ll use something you had no intention of doing in order to show His glory through you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

holy irony.


I’ve always thought of the Lord as having this great sense of humor.

Almost as if He waits for you to speak your mind in that self-assured tone,
as you hold your phlegmatic expression and confidently declare to all
how and what you’re going to do with your life…

…So He may come in and alter it completely.

…So he can change your mindset to His. And, by using what you once viewed as impractical or undesirable, He may be made more recognizable in it all.


So when I blurted out that I’d probably never visit India,

I should have known that He’d "pull one" on me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a conversation i'll cherish for a while

Today I felt it shift.

“What was it like, moving here at 14?” I asked the caught-off-guard interviewee intently.

It had started out like any of my ACT prep classes did. 7th period. They’re exhausted. I’m exhausted. Both of us trying to make it until the bell finally sounds at three o’clock.

I’d wanted to ask him about it, but the words never came out right. And then there’s the thoughts and questions that followed in my head.
“Is it appropriate to ask?”
“I’m sure he’s tired of answering this one.”
“Am I singling him out in front of the class?”
“What would an experienced teacher do?”

Yada, yada, yada…

I canceled out the last question and allowed Curiosity to take the lead.

The words that followed stirred me. I tried to hide my expression and my growing mixture of compassion and awe that were causing the fatigue mentioned earlier to slowly deteriorate. I was more alert than ever.

“It really doesn’t bother me, Miss Hurndon,” he reassured me.

I presumed.

The more I asked, the more I tried to conceal my emotions that were gripping me outwardly.

His innocent comments on candy moved me. Yes, candy.
“Americans get it anytime. We had to work for it,” he spoke in a heavily accented voice so genuinely.

I was ashamed of the very things I was lecturing about. The very things I was bringing up.

You know…the spoiled American mindset; the expectation to get what you want, whenever you desire it; the need for the gospel to reach so many, while most of us wouldn’t give up our comfortable living situations in an instant to actually stand by our “good news”…etc.

I rambled for a bit.

I found myself speaking my mind at those who didn’t understand, when I was truly speaking to myself.

He’d finished speaking of the death of his parents, when I began to close the somewhat involuntary interview.

“I can’t imagine how you felt. You’re such a strong person,” I said.
That was all that really came out.
Not the most eloquent of my teacher speeches.

So, it had shifted.

This orphaned Ethiopian boy had unlocked something once dormant within me.
And as I tried to disguise my now tear-filled eyes, I knew he’d taught me more than I had even begun to teach him all year.

Friday, April 15, 2011

green.




"In the long view, was it such a revelation that we were both ticklish and that we both liked dogs more than cats? Really, weren't these facts just placeholders until the long view could truly assert itself?

We were painting by numbers, starting with the greens. Because that happened to be our favorite color. And this, we figured, had to mean something."

Well put.
Simply well put.

Monday, April 11, 2011

maybe i saw it coming.

Whoever you are,

If words could make you see that I’m not as scared as I once was, I’d memorize a script for you. I'd perfect it. I’d even smile more often in your direction, relinquishing any misconceptions about my feelings you may hold.

You know, for reassurance.

But right now I’m gonna zip my hoodie up neck-high and hold my tongue.
Nothing personal.

(Forgive me for my cliches, but I can't say it myself.)
So as they say, this road’s just all too familiar, and I’ve chased that rabbit before.

Yet, if you come out and say it, I’ll probably completely agree.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

freedom.


And one more thought on this Thursday night...

"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed." Psalm 126:1

Oh let it be true even today.
May the captives be released.
And may we dream.
Dream of the unconventional things the Lord could do with us.
If we allowed Him.
Dream of the sick being restored.
Dream of the lost being found.
But Oh, my God,
Let us dream again.

inspiring thoughts.

What Has Lost

Even though my walls quite tall,
They did quake a little.
Even though my nerves quite strong,
They did shake a little.
Even though my heart quite whole
It did break a little.
And death, quite powerful,
Did take a little.


-Abbie

Believe it or not, this was written by an 8th grade student of mine.
I'm pretty sure she gets it. (that whole "writing" thing I've been longing for them to grasp)

right on time.


"The Divine Voice is not always expressed in words. It is made known as a heart-consciousness."


Maybe I'm too much of a self-professed "word-nerd", but the word conscious messed with me. Not that it's a difficult word to recognize or understand, but I just couldn't get past its harsh reality.

Conscious: Awake.

In order to be in need of an awakening, the heart must have been found sleeping at some point.

My mind quickly switches to teacher-mode, and I imagine that sloth-like student that just won't pick his head up off of the desk. You can make it a huge ordeal, draw attention to it, and consequently lose your entire class's focus...or....you can let him lay there a while, realizing that at some point, he'll recognize the importance of what he's missing. At least you hope so.

If I replace that teacher image with God and think of myself as that lazy student, it's a bit too shameful for me to think on for too long.

This sneakily made its way past my eyes and pressed in to my spirit last night. Very heavily.
Suddenly I am very aware, or conscious, of what the Divine Voice is asking of me.

Lord,

Let my heart stay open and alert to the things you are speaking to me.
I want to think with a kingdom-mindset.
Let this spirit awake.