July 18 , 2014

I want to be vulnerable, not needy. Powerful, not controlling. To be a listener,  not silent. Courageous, not reckless. Engaged, not consumed. Authentic, not agreeable. And the grace to know that the line between these things will always be blurred. I want to be alive. Even when alive means admitting I need help and asking for what I want. Even when its made up of awkward conversations and tears that leak at the most inconvinent times. None of those things are intrinsic to me. I want to be done with striving and self actualization. I want to fall into a grace so deep that I drown in its redemption. To let The Gospel do it’s work in me.

July 12, 2014

There are so many things I want and they all begin with you. I want a to live a life with open hands. I want a heart that is set free. I want my life to be about other people, but I don’t want to resent them for it. I want a job that lets me love well and follow my dreams. I want to live a life of fears faced and lives changed. I want to learn to engage wholeheartedly and leave the results up to you. I want to be thankful continually. I want a courage that comes only from you. I want to stop thinking and start being. I want to seek you wildly. I want motives that I don’t even know how to ask for. I want you to be my home, so that I have freedom to be anywhere. I want to listen hard and philosophize less. I want to live an abundant life that rests under the weight of your glory. I want an integrity that holds through the darkest rooms of my soul. I want the Gospel to be alive inside of me. I want a kingdom heart that brings your redemption here. I want to revel in the inheritance you bought for me with your blood. I want to matter towards things that matter. 

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for my adoring family. Thank you for all my privilege. Forgive my inability to see all that you have given me. Forgive my selfishness. My indecision. My everything. Teach me how to know you. Teach me how to BE your daughter instead of just trying to do what I think you may want. Lately I feel as if maybe I am trying to punish myself for something and I don’t know what thats about. I feel as if my heart is closed. I feel as if all the plans in the world won’t make me feel better. I feel like I have this whole thing wrong and instead of asking you, I research you. 

Right the wrongs in me. Knock out all the walls you want. Baptize me in the dark room of your love until I am wild with the colors and shapes you planned. Let this be a surgery I don’t wake up from until you are finished. I ask the questions of the year again: Will you pursue me? And will you not let me succeed in this life until I’m yours? 

March 9, 2014

The sun will rise in four hours, bringing with it enough grace for the day. My mind will wander all these paths again and it won’t matter what I do, but my role is vital. I’ll kick out with windows of the things I should do and find the slow burn work it is to become. The world will teeter madly on its axels and I will rest in the hands of the one who caught the weight of my tears as they spilled from my bones.

Monday, October 20

California messed with me. In all the best and worst ways. I am so relieved to be here, in the woods above Hawksbill Crag. Two hours from home, no service. Once again, it’s taken hours to arrive here; physically, mentally, and emotionally. It took two sermons, half my Hebrew playlist, a sunrise, a cortado, a mile and a half hike, and re-reading last month’s prayer to get to where I am right now. Such an investment. The ONLY investment. 

Being in Cali reminded me what it was like to have the world at my finger tips. To be around friends who love and know me deeply. To so readily spend money on coffee and food. For all those “other” desires and pleasures to take Your place. For the past few months, I have felt that You control me, and then I control things. Cali reminded me of what it feels like for people to control me. It’s an overpowering and intoxicating feeling; hollow and anxious. It’s a hard line because here, I am not vulnerable. I am to my friends far away and I don’t feel dependent on them. All risks have to do with my status and pride and less to do with my emotions and relationships. Being with K again reminds me of what it feels like to want too much. I don’t know what it is, but I care so much about her and I become easily frustrated and/or hurt by the distance that inevitably takes its toll on my all or nothing existence. When I am not around her, I don’t remember to be sad. 

I’m not saying this well at all. 

California makes me feel seduced. As if the Devil is offering me all that he has that I want and I have to waste so much energy resisting it. [For example] Not thinking about K and what she will do, but also no detaching myself. Being reminded of marriage and relationships while not awakening a wanting I can’t control or a closed heart that can’t be penetrated [gosh, I complain about people who use that word]. Being reminded that the world is big and there is much I want to see and do, but limiting myself to the most important things. It’s a differentiation problem mostly. One I hope I can grow further and further into as The Gospel does its work in me. 

I got to talk about the Gospel on my birthday. Not just talk about it, but convince a devastated boy, at least for one night, that Redemption is possible and happening for him NOW. What a gift it was to watch him weep with the weight and relief of the Truth. Four thousand dollars was donated to Weight of Glory [also on my birthday] and again, I am in awe of the gift God has given us in allowing us to play roles in His story. M sent the sweetest birthday card and I am floored by the way You have redeemed our friendship. May we only bring you glory as she moves back this December. 

K and I talked for 6 hours via phone as she travelled this weekend. We talked about a thousand things. One thought that sticks out so much was talking about God’s role in romantic relationships. The metaphor we came up with had to do with outsourcing all our worth issues and problems with each other to the Great Counselor. How every relationship HAS to triangulate whether via a friend, cheating, a therapist, or ultimately, God. How, when those issues are “outsourced” there is so much more room to work on the real relationship. How when all passion and purpose are derived from The Source, no matter your differences, you are moving towards the same thing. You let go of the anxiety of knowing HOW you both will get there because you are both asking and seeking for the same things. K said that was a perfect description of why she and JE can’t be together now because they would just end up trying to take care of everything “in house.” I simultaneously realized that this is absolutely the biggest thing I miss about B. No matter how shitty things got, there was a relentless passion to know and do the will of God. Above all else, we bled and fought and crawled towards the throne of God. Completely transparent about how we were doing and as wholehearted as we knew how to be. Staking our lives on the Gospel. Him losing his, but I believe, dying on the right hill. I haven’t met another person as wholehearted about the Gospel as he was. SLA is the absolute closest. Which makes me wonder if it’s the threat of physical death that finally awakens that fire in a person. 

Do other “healthy” people exist who search as passionately for Your heart? 

I feel relatively passionate and relatively healthy and I haven’t met another like me. I don’t want to mean that arrogantly. And I’m certainly not complaining (I hope). I just don’t understand. Is it really my desire to be needed that I am calling “passion for God?” Like, B and SLA make me feel useful and meaningful. Is it really that selfish thing I love more than their passion I admire? [Or am I not seeing myself and others as accurately as I think I am?] I don’t know why I waste time trying to figure these things out. YOU are the answer to all things and even all this wondering gets in the way of that sometimes. Please overrun me. Overpower me. Consume me. Pursue me. Don’t let me succeed at things that don’t matter and please, please, please help me to daily give the prince of darkness his world back. He is a liar and a fucking monster and I want to develop a hatred for everything he owns. And I want to cultivate a deep love for all that you have created here. A transcendent love. A supernatural one. And the wisdom to know who owns what. I am gladly yours. Use me wherever you like. Give me the courage and the truth to fight valiantly. I love you. Build your kingdom HERE. 

Win T’s soul. Use my whole life in your fight to save it. It’s a hill I’d be honored to die on. 


Monday, September 29

The weight of your glory only becomes more and more apparent to me. The more I read, the more teachings I hear, the more conversations I have, the more aware I become of all the work you’ve done in me. So often lately when I hear about the changes that come with your Holy Spirit, I am relieved and excited that I can feel them and see them happening. Simultaneously, I begin to worry that I am/will become arrogant or ungrateful of the work you’ve begun in me. I worry about Weight of Glory Orphan Care and that I won’t have what it takes to keep moving forward. The name is so fitting, a constant reminder. I worry that I don’t spend enough time praying for T. I worry that all my knowledge and life-change spills out too much into conversations and that I am overpowering. That I don’t listen enough or ask enough questions. I feel my cynicism slip out anytime “conservative christians” are mentioned and I don’t know how to stop it. I feel justified because it seems to have made you angry too - people who call themselves believers, but miss the mark completely. 

Forgive these things in me Lord. Continue to cut into my life and remove all the things in me that are against you. Continue to fight the war I began in myself by choosing you. I’ve been so hungry for you lately. It is refreshing and hopeful and right. I’m seeing patterns of who you are everywhere, in people, in stories, in the things I read. I want to be the things they talk about so badly. 

Anxious to fulfill my obligation in the world, a holder of your peace, a channel through which your blessings flow to the world. Proof that your salvation is like sunshine, belonging to the whole world. I want a consistent life, holy conversations, an unwavering integrity, an active, benevolent spirit, to be a godly example. I want to be like Jesus, sweeping away the rubbish that truth has been buried under, without sweeping away Truth itself. I want your thoughts to be my thoughts. I never want to willfully disregard your law. I want to be sincere, kind, patient, forbearing, heavenly-minded. I want anger for things that anger you: God being dishonored, His service brought into disrepute, or the innocent oppressed. An anger born of sensitive morals. And I want to let go of anger that is against you; bitterness and animosity.

I want to be a woman of no excuses. To be restored to The Original loveliness of my soul. To carry the peace of Heaven; to be surrounded by the atmosphere of heaven. For the Kingdom of God to begin for me NOW. To bear the honor and trust to do your work in your name. To be dipped deep in the blood of your sacrifice so that every part of me is immersed. A woman who desires truth and has no fear about what it reveals in me. To be willing to ask and accept the things you offer for each day, with no regard for tomorrow. To realize how deeply I cannot discern the motives of people around me and to meet them with a supernatural grace. To only examine myself and let you produce unending fruit in my life.

You say, “Receive me; Build on My words.” I accept your invitation Lord, with all my heart. Continue to own me, more of me. Devastate the parts of me that still fight against you. I do not exist; only You exist. Make me more Spirit than flesh. Bring your kingdom HERE. Starting in my heart, my family, my church, my town, until all the Earth is yours. I love you. 

Thoughts from last month; Ecclesiastes

I like having all night to think about things. At times, it gets me into trouble. Eight hours is a long time and I’m an extravert. I think about how silly (a word chosen because of how much I hate it) it is that I record so much of my life. How, even fifteen years ago, none of this was possible. You couldn’t take pictures with phones. Tumblr didn’t exist and when people blogged, it was a commitment that involved uploading pictures from a big, fancy camera and carefully crafting them into and interesting post from a computer. Now, its all swipes and taps from a phone. I’ve got caught thinking more than once thinking about how sad I will be if the apocalypse comes and takes out the internet. I think maybe I should record everything on paper too so that I (it was supposed to say “it” but did I really mean “I” )cannot be destroyed. But then I remember fire and water and how everything is temporary. I’m only recording it all so I won’t forget that it’s pointless (a paradox). It’s so easy to be caught up in creating an empire here. To leave a mark. 

I think about how women having careers is only a 75 year old idea. I resent feminists. For thousands of years, women lived with their families and then the men they married. Their meaning in life was derived from the relationships they held with their parents, their friends, their husbands, and children. I’m happy we can own things now and that if we don’t have men and/or a family, we can provide for ourselves. I’m happy we can vote. I’m happy I don’t live in the middle east. But I am also happy to hand back the idea that we must have a successful career to define our worth. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to. I continue to stand by the idea that we as women are primarily relational. I don’t know fully what that means or how that looks, but I refuse to stop looking for the balance between the two. 

If I think too long about anything, I lose almost all motivation. Why save for a vintage Navajo rug or spend hours at thrift stores finding my ideal architect draft paper storage container to host my yearly boxes of memories. Why cook glamorously understated kinfolk meals and try all the restaurants I’ve never been too. Why read half the books I read and TV, its honestly unjustifiable. Statistically, nine years of my life will be spent on TV and social media. NINE YEARS. And I feel like that might be a conservative estimate.  

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

3 What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

Said the wisest man on earth. 

Saturday, March 7 // 2015

Oh Lord, you are GOOD. Today, I speak at Compass for the second time. So much has happened, even from reading last month. SM came to visit. C and I caught up. K and I were finally able to talk. D & J made it to Uganda. Read-a-thon was a hit. TN attacked me when I poured her vodka out and she moved out the next day. J told me he likes me and I’m going to visit next weekend. I’m really excited about him. Lord continue to equip me. My stress has been high these last few weeks. My appetite is failing me and I am so tired. In the same breath, thank you. I’m taking it as an acknowledgement that I’m a threat to the kingdom of darkness. Fuck him. I praise you. You win. Protect and cover me. continue to use my heart and my life. Open up the heavens to me. Win souls. Continue to mold and change me. As grueling as all the learning and growing has been, it is only the best thing. It feels so good. Like after a good run or a strong game, I only want more. Bless my words today. As TN moves the rest of her stuff out this morning, let her feel you there with her. I didn’t get to see the miracle Lord, but I’m still hoping for it for her. Send people into her life to show her what you’re like. Start revival in her. Lord, lead her to lay her yes down. Fight HARD for her. Give her mom the strength to be there mom you’ve called her to be. And again, bless my words today. Let them be your words. I love you. 

Things ahead; now

As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in this coming we begin eternal life. The longer we are on the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus through this life, may we be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here. But what is this compared to the hereafter? -EGW

It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. - C.S. Lewis

There, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ” (‭Revelation‬ ‭7‬:‭15-17‬ NIV)

August 19, 2014

Fight, fight fight. I know you win in the end, but I can’t think about how much we all may have to lose. T isn’t a negotiable to me at this point and I have no idea how to hand him over to you. So pry my fingers off what I think I’m holding and teach me the things I don’t know how to know. Give me courage and strength and integrity and discipline. Remind me constantly that those are your attributes, not mine. I love you and I only want to love you more. Keep renovating me.