Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sweet Saturday Mornings

Standard
"Nothing of eternal significance ever happened apart from prayer."

"Nothing of eternal significance ever happened apart from prayer."

This morning was unlike any other morning I think I have ever had.  Nine women sat in a circle in my living room and listened to each other share what is weighing on their hearts and one by one, we prayed for one another. It lasted for three hours.

It’s amazing to me, when people are honest and open, the discovery of weight that so many carry alone, quietly.  But when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, what you find is that you are not alone at all.  You are actually in the company of brothers and sisters who are fighting the same battle, bearing the same weight, and sawing their way to freedom from the same chains.  I’ll give you just one example.

Emily Rogers is a beautiful woman. Tall, dark hair and eyes, and the most contagious and fantastic smile you’ve ever seen.  She has a fervency for life that is captivating and totally inspiring. When you’ve been around Emily, you walk away different.

Emily is also wonderfully transparent and she verbalized today something that I think I have unknowinly fought for some time.

She said that despite the fact that she has “trusted” the Lord, she had become apathetic towards whether or not He will answer her prayers or satisfy the desires of her heart. *the desire of her heart is to be married; to have a man in her life that pursues, cherishes, and leads her*  “I trust Him with who I already am, what I already have, but not neccesaarily with I want; I don’t anticpate that  He will fulfill my desires that because He hasn’t yet .  Being apathetic is easier than being disappointed.  I don’t wait in hope.  Instead, I assume nothing and then when it inevitably doesn’t happen, I’m not upset.”

“Oh snap,” I thought to myself.   I do that too.

She went on: “But I think I’m realizing that my mind set couldn’t be further from faith lived out; what I say and how I feel do not align.  I don’t get excited when a boy calls because I automatically assume the end, so I blow it off before it has even begun. But I don’t think… no, I know, that that is not what He has called us to. He has called us to an excited anticipation, a hopeful waiting, an expectant faith.”

Her eyes brimmed with tears, and mine soon followed suit.

How did we get here? When did we stray from all that we know is right and true? And why have we become contented to stay in this seemingly safe place?

I know that Emily’s desire (and my desire for that matter) is there because God purposely put it there.  He placed it there specifically because in His timing, He will fulfill it. He will bring to her a man that loves the Lord above all else, that seeks her good, and will commit to love and lead her until the Lord calls them home.  And when this comes to fruition, God will get all the glory, honor and praise because it will be made clear that He had them, individually, in the palm of His hand as He orchestrated, ordained, and appointed each step they took until they were brought together.

Because that is how big our God is. That is how beautifully mysterious He is. Because that is how good He is.

Philippians 1:6 is one of my favorite verses and it says: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I love this verse because I think that, when we draw close the Lord , when we are wholly surrendered and ask that He would change and make out hearts what He wants them to be, our desires become reflections of His desires. 

Soooo, I think that me and Emily’s desire for marriage is a direct reflexion of God’s desire for our future–that we would not be alone but that we would the help-mate to a man that He is currently preparing for us. 

And so if Philippians 1:6 is truth that we can claim, and that the work/desire that the Lord instilled us is in process and will someday become reality, than we have every reason to hope. We have every reason to wait in anxious anticipation and expectant faith.

Advertisements

these are a few of my favorite things!

Standard

Rain drops of roses and whiskers on kittens.  Bright coppper kettles and warm woolen mittens.

Brown paper packages tied up with string.  These are a few of my favorite things!

*note- I am acutally singing this out loud as I write*

And speaking/singing of favorite things, here’s one of mine: SWEET POTATO FRIES.  I had some tonight at a new place that I will most likely go to religiously every week from now on and they were heavenly; I nearly felt led to worship.  No honestly, I felt like raising my hands and breaking into bad dance moves.

To sweet potato fries! May we meet again….

a nearly guiltless pleasure.

a nearly guiltless pleasure.

The Beauty of Simplicity

Standard
I love the beauty and mystery of this picture. I just want to know what's around the corner.

I love the beauty and mystery of this picture. I just want to know what's around the corner.

News flash–this time last week I was diagnosed with mono.  And let me just tell you, if you haven’t had it before, it bites. You’re tired all the time; constantly thirsty, your appetite dwindles, and you are so physically fatigued, you can’t think straight.

That being said, I have been under strict monitoring from friends and family, mandating that I rest, sleep, sleep, and rest. When I am not in the office, I am either on the couch or in my bed. The lack-luster scenery has been irritating. 

I don’t rest well. I don’t like sleeping during the day; it feels like a complete waste of time. I don’t have ADD, but I don’t like to sit still either. I’m a physically active person; I like to run. I like to hike. Keep me in a 1,200 sq.ft. apartment and I get a little stir crazy.

But, I have to say that this forced “relaxation” has been refreshing. I realized tonight as I sat out on the Whole Foods patio, sipping soup and flipping through a culinary magazine, that I don’t take nearly enough time to sit and immerse myself in the beauty of simplicity. 

 

Simplicity meaning being as opposed to doing. Being in the moment, making and holding eye contact with another souls and not just glancing at their exterior. Taking the time to indulge and taste every flavor of every ingredient in a meal. Listening to what someone is not actually saying and being brave enough to ask what it is. Taking breaths so deep there’s no room left in your lungs. Closing your eyes and letting the sun dance on your lids. Walking through a park in bare feet, letting the grass tickle your toes.

These things, these little menial things I have so quickly hurried through on my way to the gym or other obligatory committments that I have made a priority, are suddenly dimming in the light of a life that is so much more satisfying and real.  A life full of recognition and response to God. A life of gratitude and worship, whether I am singing, sleeping, or communing with others. A life that is being fully lived, and not just kept up with and checked off.

I hope you, dear reader, don’t ever get mono. But I do hope you take the time to sit and see. Sit and listen. Sit and taste. Sit and love.

Little Old Ladies

Standard

It was a beautiful evening tonight. Cool, slight breeze, florescent colored sky, and clouds that looked like atmospheric sky-scrapers.  Needless to say, I spent more time looking up than forward which made getting to my mail box quite the adventure.

Alas, I had no mail.  So I started home.

I strolled slowly, in no hurry to get back. I think for the first time during the entire day, my mind was quiet.  No thoughts of work today, no thoughts of work tomorrow. Just listening to the wind strum little melodies through loose limbs and fallen leaves.

As I turned down my street, I saw a little old lady with a white fluffy dog walking towards me.  And as we got closer, her smile got brigher and wider. Her hair was perfectly quaffed. She was aboslutely beautiful.

Have you ever met an older man or woman who you could tell nearly instantaneously, was probably stop-traffic gorgeous back in the day? Everything from her kind, bright eyes to her gentle spirit was totally captivating.  Something about her made me so comfotable, like I had just gotten home.

As we stopped and talked about the evening, I bent down to pet her little Maltese. “Her name is Suzy,” she told me.

“Enjoy the rest of your evening,” I said. She looked at me, smiled and said, “I hope you enjoy yours as well.”

I didn’t get her name. I wish I had. I hope I see her again because in all honesty, I want to be her friend. I hope I see her again so that we can share a cup of coffee and I can just sit and listen to her talk about whatever she wants.

This picture is completely irrelevant... but I think it's awesome.

This picture is completely irrelevant... but I think it's awesome.

I hope I get to see her smile again because it was so contagious. She was full of life. The kind of life you know was well lived.  Perhaps not free from strain or stress in some season or another, but she still radiated pure and innocent joy.

I hope when people look at me and see me smile they walk away feeling as loved and encouraged as I did tonight.  I hope I live in each moment of every day. I hope I lay my head to sleep each night having taken advantage of every opportunity.  I want to be just like this little old lady when I grow up.

look what I found in an old journal…

Standard
Kauai is my favorite island... I plan on going back.

Kauai is my favorite island... I plan on going back.

I was standing on the beach
Where the water’s end and the sand meet
Gazing out at the horizon
Watching the sun melt into the sea

The longer I stood, the calmer I became;
The gentle ebb and flow of the waves rolled its rhythm over my feet.
Even as the sun set and its’ light dimmed,
My eyes remained fixed, the overcoming darkness unnoticed.

I was standing on the hill,
Where Heaven and Hell met.
Gazing upon the cross,
Watching the Son bleed into the tree.

And the longer I stood, the calmer I became;
The gentle ebb and flow of His breaths lulled peace over my spirit.
And even as the Son set and His light dimmed,
My eyes remained fixed, the overcoming darkness unnoticed.

In the midst of the darkness, my stance endured,
For even though I could not see the waves, I felt them wash over me.
And when they retreated, I trusted them to their return
For they could not refuse their pattern, their pull.

In the midst of the darkness, my stance endured,
For though I could no longer see His life, I felt His spirit wash over me.
And while He retreated, I trust in His return,
For in His faithfulness, He can not deny Himself.

As I stand on the beach,
Where the water’s end meets the sand;
Gazing out on the horizon,
The Son rising, giving birth to a new day.

Mental Meldown over Metaphorical Musings: The Conclusion

Standard

In my total and complete delirium while writing my last post, I forgot to include the real reason for my thoughts on the subject matter in the first place.  You see, I haven’t been feeling very well lately and my ability to concentrate lasts for about three minutes at a time and comes in waves about every other hour.  This obviously makes doing anything that takes more brain power than breath, difficult.

So, here is is… the grande finale. The brilliant conclusion that I forgot. Or actually, the original introduction that I skipped entirely.  The song that started it all.

“I Will Not Take My Love Away” by Matt Wertz

I will not take my love away
When praises cease and seasons change
While the whole world turns the other way
I will not take my love away
I will not leave you all alone
When striving leads you far from home
And there’s no yield for what you’ve sown
I will not leave you all alone
I will give you what you need
In plenty or in poverty
Forever, always, look to me
And I will give you what you need
I will not take my love away

And for those of you who are audible learners… please press play.

Metaphorical Musings

Standard

I don’t know what it is about metaphors, but I love them. I mean, I really love metaphors.

I know that in high school, I overused them in all my book reports and literary research papers because I thought they made me sound smarter ( and I still think that to a certain degree). The only thing was, I would forget about the real subject I was assigned and suddenly the metaphor would have totally taken over the paper and by the end, I would have a handwritten note from my teacher simply saying “…What?”

In college, I toned it a down a bit, mostly because metaphors don’t really fit in business marketing classes.  For the most part, I kept them to my personal journal. But to this day for whatever reason, I write, speak, think, and nearly feel most things through a metaphorical lens.

I have only one hypothesis for this: I have spent more time in the Word over the last several years.  Read anything out of the major or minor prophets, or read anything Jesus said for that matter and I think you may agree that the Bible is riddled with metaphors, allusion, and analogies. 

My favorite, and perhaps the most pervasive metaphor throughout scripture, is that of a bride and groom.  It’s my favorite metaphor because I am a girl… and we’re obsessed with all things weddings and marriage. It’s also my favorite because I am analytical and introspective and I feel like maybe, just maybe, that’s OK. Maybe it’s intrinsic; something that is innately apart of who I am as human being, and not a mindset that I have picked up on from society or culture. Because if unconditional love, marriage, redemption, restoration,provision, etc were all His ideas from the beginning, than perhaps my enthrallment with those very things means that I am more completely a product of my Maker. 

I love the ability to connect and interchange the role of God with that of husband; the role of the saved with that of the wife. There is something about the fact that the two relationships reflect one another that is absolutely mezmorizing to me. I don’t know if it is because I feel as if it brings God closer, being able to envision Him in a setting and circumstance that is all-encompassing in our culture, or perhaps if it’s because it elevates the human condition to a more heavenly realm that overcomes outside factors that seek to destroy the very marriage and relationship that the Lord has ordained.

Is this making sense?

Basically I think what I am trying to say is this: I have realized as of late that we as believers, are being pursued. We are sought after like a precious treasure; we are desired, we are defended against our enemies, and we are being rescued daily.  We have captivated our God. We have enthralled Him with our beauty, an attribute that He has custom designed and perfected for every make and model. (metaphor translation=”every make and model” refers to every person on earth). 

This minimal description only scratches the surface of what I really think and how deeply I feel about this, how much I truly believe and cling to it.

And I told you that to ask you this: What if we treated our walk with God the way we treated our spouse? best friend?  Think about it. What if we took intentional time out of our day, days that are particularly busy or stressful, just to sit together with Him. Eyes closed. Deep breaths. Maybe inside on the couch or your favorite over-stuffed chair. Maybe outside while the breeze ruffled your hair, the warmth of the sun restd on your back, and the sound of leaves gently rustled close by.

I emphasize “sitting” because I have, for so long, stuggled with “doing” christianity.

More often than not, Jesus went away to be with the Father and he sat in His presence. I’m sure he prayed, but he wasn’t always reading out of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms and Proverbs. I’m really over believing that there is an equation or recipe for a rich relationship with Christ outside of simply being available, being open, and being maleable.

What if we allowed ourselves to be romanced by God? What if we sat still long enough to be caught?  

this is what it looks like to me…

Just me & Him... strolling European cobble streets.

Just me & Him... strolling European cobble streets.