Other.


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I keep having dreams, and I’m not sure why. My roommate was a fish and you liked to carry shoes.

You rode in my car for a few hours while I drove you to some unknown location. I tried to tell you I didn’t hate you because I don’t, but it was still really awkward. When I was driving in my rainboots, I couldn’t control my speed because I couldn’t feel the pedals. So I barreled at 223 miles an hour. And you just sat there in the backseat with shoes on your feet and a pair in your hands. You didn’t say anything to me, and that was just like normal.

If I could talk to you. If you would listen, I’d tell you I don’t hate you. I’d tell you that I’m not mad… I even love you because you’re my sister and you are worthy of that. I don’t even dislike you for the position you’re in. You’re beautiful to me because you were created by the same hands I was. I’d ask you to be my friend because I think that’s a possibility.

My dreams are reminding me of all the things I miss, and you, though I don’t know you very well, just happen to be one of them.

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Wishes


Wishes

I wish it weren’t true

That wherever I am

There I am too

I wish it could be said

That I’m not always followed

By the thoughts in my head

 

My ideas have great elocution

But they’ve no resolution

I wish they’d lead to absolution

Instead of prostitution to myself.

 

Wish I could escape the drought

But at the same time

Not take the easy route

Wish I could carry only me

But somehow

That wouldn’t make me free

 

My ideas have great elocution

But they’ve no resolution

I wish they’d lead to absolution

Instead of prostitution to myself

 

I feel out of place on this campaign

Too self-centered to be ever free of stain

Thinking only I should gain

Though my life to yours pertains

Don’t want what once was my pain

To force my bruises to remain

I just want tangibility to sustain

Though I know what kept me sane

Is also what I can’t contain

 

How truly human am I

Scraping my skin with pottery

Sitting in the dirt uttering sighs

My friends tell me which way to go

To fake the path till I find my way

But friends, that’s not the way I know.

Mender.


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“Be a mender.”

This is something that a good friend’s dad told me Monday night. It’s stuck in my head since then because when I look at my life, I don’t see a whole lot of mended things. I see a lot of brokenness. I see too many times that I’ve selfishly walked out on things that made me unhappy… Mind you, there are things that I’ve walked away from because I truly thought they were unhealthy for me.  But there are a lot of things, especially recently, that I’ve Fort Knoxed my heart from the hard and painful things because I didn’t want anyone to break in, or leave once they had, and I’ve walked in safety instead of radical love. I’ve been walking as if I was alone.

I was talking to one of my brothers, and we talked about the way that people in our family react to certain situations, and it made me wonder if I fall into that same cycle. Do I leave things just because I feel trapped, or when I can’t control them?

“There’s enough brokenness in the world, try to combat that.”

Am I a person that breaks things out of self-preservation, or am I a person who works hard to fix the things that have been broken? Do I just run from thing to thing because I can’t find stability within myself?

How do you even begin to fix things that have been broken in you and your life?

I want to be able to face the difficult things instead of running from them. I want the strength to be a mender.

Scattered


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My thoughts have been extra scattered lately, therefore, bulletpoints.

  • The God we serve works His restoration in the context of relationship, and therefore it follows that our faith is lived out in that same context. God’s love for us, our love for God, and our love for  each another is expressed within community as we grow together and build each other. (That’s where the encouragement comes in)
  • Isolation is a form of division. It’s also selfish. And stupid. Disembodied arms aren’t terribly effective. They just kind of sit there and stink and rot and stuff.
  • God created us with the intention of allowing us to be creative with our lives, just as He is creative. (It’s that whole idea of ‘created in His image’)
  • Paradigms are hard to rebuild and restructure, and sometimes the God we were taught to follow looks a bit different from the God we discover in living life away from that with which we are familiar.
  • God values the honesty of His people. Take a look at Moses for that one: Moses mastered the art of the honest prayer and told God exactly what He was thinking. One particular exchange between them in Numbers 16 is especially beautiful to me. Go read it… See for yourself.
  • The point of the story is the point of the story. When the point of the story becomes the pursuit of the minuscule, time is wasted. Sometimes those minuscule things are important, but that doesn’t make them the point. (I’ve spent a lot of time learning this one over the last 6 months.)

Lavished


Warning: This post is a bit long. If you aren't patient, I probably won't judge you for not reading it all.

Warning: This post is a bit long. If you aren’t patient, I probably won’t judge you for not reading it all.

Can I tell you guys a story?

Two nights ago, I was afraid. I mean, I’m still afraid now, but two nights ago, my fear overwhelmed me. I got a grand total of 3 or so hours of sleep, and I was so anxious, my stomach turned itself into a bottomless pit. I spent the night eating to satiate the hunger as well as listening to Patrick Mead and the soundtrack for the HBO miniseries The Pacific.  The main theme ‘Honor‘ makes me feel like I can fly. Sue me. (If you click on the link, it’ll open a new tab that will play the song and make it sound like you are reading something monumental.)

We all have fears and want to control things so that our fear becomes irrelevant because we are human, and since I’m not some strange alien and I’m writing a human story, I sometimes allow the fear to move in and take over.

I’m afraid of loss.

I know I’m young, and I definitely don’t want to play the martyr, but I’ve lost some stuff in my life. I’ve lost very significant pieces of myself–Things that tore my heart out. Sometimes I get to this point where I just don’t want to hurt anymore; I just want to stop losing things, so I take the things I feel the desperate need to keep and I pull them in as close as I possibly can and control them, and squeeze all the drops of security out of them as I can. When I stop being able to control them and when I lose my sense of security, I end up in bed at 3 in the morning tossing, turning, and sobbing at how completely alone I feel, because I just want arms around me– holding me and telling me that it’s going to be okay. And in that place, my world stops existing outside of myself. I get trapped inside my own head, and and realize that life has become solely about me. In that place, I’m stuck inside myself, looking at the person I am, and being so completely unsatisfied. I get anxious, because continuing on the road I’m on is too safe and predictable, and how can I ever make anything of my life if I’m boring? How can I ever be someone amazing if I don’t stop to listen to other people?

When I realized I probably wasn’t going to sleep much, I nestled in, and started thinking of and praying for people like LaQuinta that I met several weeks ago at a church I’ve been to a total of 4 or 5 times. She’s a single mom with a daughter in a children’s home (She goes to church so she can see her daughter). She is a fiance to a man who goes to Wally-World on Sunday, because that’s his day off. She is, most of all, a shoe and purse lover. She was beautiful and funny, and I absolutely cannot get her out of my head. I prayed for people like beautiful Maria who inspires me to love Jesus more, people like Emily who is so strong, and has so much more going on in her life than you’d ever guess, and problems that you often forget about because she never complains, people like Nikki who is so incredibly beautiful but doesn’t know it yet, and people like Logan who is so far out of his comfort zone for a week, and you just want to tell God how much you love him because it’s 3 in the morning and you can’t tell him for fear of waking him prematurely… Now I’m rambling…

Something cool happened, though. The minute I stopped thinking about how alone I felt, and started thinking about how alone other people might feel, and the pain that other people were experiencing, once I stopped paying attention to my emptiness to tell Him that I loved these people He’s created, I felt full.

I fell asleep praying– In my Papa’s arms.

The next morning I went to church, of course irrational, very hungry, and wanting to shed tears about everything, even the apple I never ended up eating. I sat in the car with my brother Drake and told him part of the story of my restless night. When we got to church, I was reminded over and over and over of how much I’ve still got.

During this video, God talked to me. Sounds crazy, I know, but it happened. ( Go ahead and watch it. It takes a lot for me to actually include media in a blog post.)

As the video rolled, I held back happy tears as God said, “Sweetheart, let Me make you new. Let Me restore you. You can’t do it on your own. It’s too much for you.”

It’s such a relief that I don’t have to fix myself, and that’s not too say that I won’t work at changing things, but it’s a relief to know that I don’t have to control my own redemption, because if we face it, I’m sure as hell not even close to being strong enough to be something incredible. I’m breakable, and it’s a relief to know that I’ve got Someone who will help me walk with grace and love, who will redeem the messes I always seem to make.

One final thought, and then I’ll go away. An acquaintance of mine posted something about Psalm 18 on her Facebook, and I felt compelled to go read it. What I found was beautiful. It was a poem about a Father that becomes indignant on our behalf and saves us from the things that try to tear us down and beat us up. He loves us so much, that He hears us and comes down and wraps us in His arms while He rebukes the hatred and death that try to advance on us. I, for one, feel lavished when I read that.

Is not my very life at risk if I am clinging so tightly to security that I forget that He has given me the gift of life, and lavishes me regularly with His huge love? Am I not wasting myself if every step is not an adventure because I am too afraid to feel pain? I often forget that He uses the pain and makes something beautiful out of it. How? I’m not entirely sure. He’s just really talented like that.

I miss you.


Today is just one of those days where I generally miss everything that’s not in sight. I realized this while looking through some of my sister’s pictures from this summer. She and her kiddos and husband went camping with our parents and siblings. Looking at those pictures made me realize how much I miss camping with my family.

I also realized that tomorrow is the 16th. Tomorrow marks a month since I’ve seen this guy:

 

 

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I miss him quite a bit.

It’s been even longer since I’ve seen all my lovely ladies

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And as weird as it probably sounds, I miss my cat, too. IMG_0052

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Like I said… Just about everything not in sight.

 

Knowing


I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying lately. Most are just general thoughts and prayers. Some are thankful. Others are full of questions. You know…

One of the big things I have realized is that at some point in the recent past, I stopped learning God. I stopped giving Him preeminence. I stopped just praising Him because no matter what happens He is still just as good… And just as there as He was before I walked a few steps away.

Also, another big thing: Fellowship is imperative.

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Going it alone is flat out idiotically stupid.

On top of all that, I have spent time just rejoicing because He talks to me… I still think it’s a little crazy…

All of that inspired this:

 

Though man my hopes may fail to meet

Though life escapes my plans

My God stands firm

My God knows no defeat

 

Though my enemies I may fear

Though I run away

My God is stead fast

He will be forever near.

 

Those are just the first two stanzas… The rest is a work in progress.

A letter to America


Dear People of America,

I am trying to figure out what the big deal is. Are we not allowed to be civil? Are we not allowed to get along because we believe different things?

I kind of wish we could all be like the little toddlers that hang around my house during the day. They are simple.

They simply love.

They simply have fun.

Sure, they fight over toys sometimes, but once the dispute is solved, they go right back to playing together. They forget completely they they were ever arguing… They are pretty much incapable of holding grudges and harboring hate.

Can’t we just love each other?

 

I have been blessed with the most incredible group of friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We come from several denominations.

We have among us:

  • Mennonites
  • Church Of Christ
  • Non-denominational
  • Baptists
  • Presbyterians
  • And more

The cool thing about our group is this: We never argue over whose opinions are right. We just love Jesus and the people around us. I think that’s so cool… Sometimes, I wish the whole entire world knew what that was like. Just sayin’

 

People, I went to China a few years ago. I taught at an English camp. One of the things that we taught the kids that came was unity: When we all band together, we can accomplish great things. I think we should all learn that too.

My honest opinion: Instead of fighting over which fast food restaurant chain owner has the ‘right’ opinion, why don’t we like… Make peoples’ lives better?

Unless of course you want to keep fighting… If that’s the case, go ahead… Suit yourself.  But, it will most likely not make your lives very fun.

Okay. That’s about it.

 

Love,

An insignificant citizen.

These


These ears

They’re not blind

They smell the poverty around them.

They taste the hunger

And feel the need

~

These Eyes

Oh! These eyes have never been deaf

To that most distinct scent

Of hurt and loss

And hopelessness

~

My senses aren’t numb

To the world’s great lack

I possess awareness

Of what I have

And others don’t

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More than anything, I long to be here:

I long with all my heart to be in all these places, but I know that more than all of that, I want to be where God wants me to be. I don’t know where I will end up, but I do know this.

I am to radiate, to reflect, to spread God’s beautiful light as He refines my heart.

Drilled into my head.


When the same verse pops up everywhere all the time, I can automatically say that God may be trying to drill something into my head.

Micah 6:8

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

This verse seems to be everywhere. The way I came across it seemed, to me at least, like a coincidence. But I guess there are no coincidences with God. I basically just opened up my Bible, and there it was. Highlighted and everything. I love when stuff like this happens. It’s exciting.