Hello. Welcome.

I'm a very determined kind of individual. Sometimes my determination is misplaced and things get very ugly. But, sometimes my determination leads to laughter, deep thoughts, and words on paper.

I write everything. I'm not very good at filtering ... so you will see it all. Maybe there will be a little inspiration for someone else along the way. I hope so. My sister also likes to guest blog and I'm sure you will appreciate her wit and wisdom.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

winter beauty

The soft, feathery flakes disappeared almost as gently as the fell as I walked into the library.

I have a list right now, sure. I have tests, papers, and a bit of research that involves Automotive Mechanics (which I'm especially excited about!)

But right now, I'm taking time. I'm going to reflect on some things that deserve reflecting. Like the big, bold puffs falling from the sky. We're under a "Heavy Snow Warning" and I think, seriously, what don't they have a warning for these days? Well, I love it. I like hearing the muffled crunch beneath my warm boots and I like nuzzling into my scarf with my hat pulled down to my eyebrows.

I enjoy this season, but it sure comes with its, well, falls. Last Friday night I went snowboarding. I had worked up such an expectation of thrill, excitement, and even injury that I was practically bursting with anticipation. I had my vintage snowpants on, a bottle of aspirin, and the best coach I could find (my brother:)... I was ready. AND it was amazing! I had an amazing time and survived without too many bruises. I fell and tumbled, but my friend Chelsea and I felt like all-stars by the time we were through (if we didn't look at the 11-year-olds carving down the hills like crazies!).

It's most ironic that the real story of the weekend happened Saturday morning. I felt muscles in my neck and arms that I didn't know were there as I woke up. But, nothing too bad. .. Until I filled my hands and tried to race down our back steps. If you've ever seen Home Alone, then picture the steps completely covered in ice and the fool that didn't see it. He was flung into the air and then gravity not-so-gracefully brought him back hard. Well, this is precisely what happened to me! My left bum is bruised and swollen still today. If I'm in strictly female company, I'll show it to gasps and wide eyes. It's probably the biggest bruise I've ever seen. I'm just glad it's not lower, or I'd have to carry around one of those silly bum cushions!

Now I am feeling a teensy bit of the pressure to accomplish my list this afternoon, so I'll have to leave it at this, but there is so much more!

God is good, all the time. I guess that sums it up. Whether I see the good or bad in my day, I know that God is good and all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. I know that I manipulate and construe things to mean more or less than God intended, when what He wants from me is simple: my heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Amen and amen.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Yes. It is a word. Discombobulate, a verb, means to confuse or disconcert; upset or frustrate.

I think this almost captures my feelings right now. All day I've felt stretched and pulled, my mind racing off in one direction, only to be reigned in to flee the opposite way. My heart is in the same predicament and it makes me feel so weak. I am in the midst of this 21 days of prayer and fasting and I have seen the Lord's blessings, but my have I seen the devil too.

I have realized that this resolve to meditate and pray comes only with extreme discipline and focus. I expected to skip right to the joy and celebration without enduring any pain or confusion.

I can picture the Lord looking down and saying, "Oh, child. My child when will you know that it is I you're seeking? Walk through the fire, dear one. Be blessed that I chose you to be refined. Take joy in this, child."

My soul wells up to ask God not for more of Him but for confirmation of me. I want to be confirmed that I'm going the right way, seeking the right things, and loving with the right heart. This transition back into college life has been awkward and cumbersome, yet also wonderful and refreshing. God has opened my life with time, but then asks me "What will you do with this time I've given, little one? How will you spend these hours?"

So many questions fill to bursting from within - why does community seem to take me two different places? How can I desire something so much it's hard to move? And where in the world is all that determined, no-funny-business focus that I'm so accustomed to?

I guess I should've said at the beginning that this is the almost end of a very, very long day. I know myself well enough to see when I'm being dramatic. This is one of those times. The questions are there, sure, but if I fight the drama then I remember the arms of peace that hold my spirit and comfort my soul.

Last night someone listed off the things he knows, as a Christian. Things God graciously spelled out for us in the Word. Things that we build our lives upon. The list was wonderfully long and beautifully incomplete - there's something about the mystery of God that is so reverent.
What a wonderful place to start - with the promises and commands of the perfect Creator and Redeemer.

Amen to that!

Friday, January 19, 2007

All this and I still don't know.

Well, one might assume after 17 years in formal education that some things start making sense. I guess I've found this to be true, but more often than not I'm surprised.

Looking back a couple months, there is absolutely no way I could have predicted that I would be right here at this point. Even a couple weeks ago, I was involved in my little world with my little plans, unaware that my plans and dreams could take such exciting dips and turns. Last year, I went through a Beth Moore study called Believing God, and one of the things I'll always remember is the discussion on faith... it is a present-active-participle, ongoing action. So often I am unaware and unbelieving that the Lord could do great things in my life. What does this mean?

For starters, Scripture demands my audience - no, my participation in what the Lord has promised and started as a good work in me. I want nothing other than to come into beautiful, divine agreement with His plan. The dreams He has for me ... I can't be excited enough about them. This past semester, I discovered that dreaming and vision casting bring life and energy to my life. But, there's nothing I could think up or dream up that would compare to the adventures that await me in God's glorious, ordained work! I'm still working my way through Kings (after various sidetracks and pit stops) and the grace God granted time and time and time again... it' s astounding.

Regardless of the actions of His chosen, He did not forsake His covenant. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness. Oh, that I would never take lightly his perfect faithfulness!

Tonight I heard a speaker on the subject of prayer and fasting. There is a small, fiery community here at Hope that is so hungry for the Lord and His purposes fulfilled. And, as the disciples did after the bridegroom left, the group has decided to spend a focused time of praying and fasting to seek the Lord and come into agreement with his plans, both corporately and for individuals. As I listened, I was moved. Not in the emotion sense, but in more of a return to solid foundation sense. Hearing God's word spoken always always brings truth to light. A lot of times, at least for me, that means exposing things of darkness (Ephesians 5). So, I sat listening, praying, and asking God to examine my life for things that aren't His and things that distract from giving all my worship.

Nothing, absolutely nothing good comes without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is sought through prayer. Time and time again in the Old and New Testament God's children sought Him in earnest, whether to grieve, repent, or in search of wisdom. Oh, how I see this lacking in my life!

Sigh. And the Lord is lifted up, midst shouts of joy and also as we weep and mourn. His glory is revealed as His children obey, but also when we fail - for then we see His righteousness! I pray that my own knowledge of His righteousness would come through obedience...

The man speaking tonight had a weathered, raspy voice and thin, white hair. His face creased in concern and curved in compassion for the hungry hearts gathered. He spoke with gentleness, but pleaded with urgency that we be a people like the first church in Acts who earnestly sought God and the Holy Spirit and brought about history-altering change.

Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be such a person. Only by God's grace, that is for certain.

grace and peace to you all on this Friday night!

Monday, January 15, 2007

double take

I'm pushing a month since I last wrote. I realize any random readers I gained are probably long gone, giving up on the few laughs afforded by reading someone else's life foibles. I wish I had better words. A friend recently explained what it meant to taste words... it sounded so right. But, now I feel like all my taste buds have been burned off and I can't quite articulate the life that's happening around me.

I'll start by saying that my time at home was a gift. Now that I'm back here for my last semester of college, (of course, all of you folks in 'real life' saw this coming!) I am taking inventory. I'm asking all those questions freshmen ask when they arrive on campus, wide-eyed and ready to bring their answers and gifts to the world. Only this time, I'm asking these questions posed for answers I never expected. I'm asking without interrupting to finish the puzzle with my own inspired solution.

Something that has come of this spiritual and intellectual inventory is the beauty of community and the importance of relationships in the body of Christ. This isn't a new idea, I realize, but God continues to press on my heart with ways I am not living in agreement with what I understand to be His truth on the issue. God formed community as a reflection of Himself. How beautiful! There is such peace in knowing that this is how God intended life. Yet, the people with whom I should most instinctively live in right relationship are the very ones with whom I forget.

The over-arching redemptive narrative climaxed on earth with the ultimate sacrifice of and for community in Jesus' death and resurrection. But the beautiful resolution began with the presence of the Holy Spirit... and now we can see that God's children are all part of one holy body, working to do the will of the Father. I praise God for this design... the community gathered around my life has shaped what I know to be love.

Again, I'm overwhelmed with where to go from here, because so much has transpired in the few short weeks I've entered into this community. In some ways it feels familiar and in others I sense the old feelings of restlessness pressing in with the power and momentum of a train... I want to jump on. .. throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12). Everything that gave me joy and life in my journey in Chicago is part of a much grander, glorified picture that God has for His kingdom.

Life right now is going much, much faster than I anticipated, but at the same time I've never valued peace and quiet more. I love that to the world contradictions go unexplained, but to God contradictions reveal his wisdom and our folly. He is not confused. Praise the Lord for the mysteries kept beyond our reach - for our salvation that is to be worked out with fear and trembling. Praise God for His ways that are so much higher than our ways! For He IS God, and to understand any more than He's revealed would make Him less than the Almighty.

I wish I could explain. I've started so many little blogs in my mind. Sometimes I wish I could have a mini keyboard that I could manipulate with one hand. I envision myself with the little contraption on my hip, right hand typing away as I walked to class. I know - could I be more of a geek? I literally think in terms of paragraphs as I walk down the sidewalk. Many of these little brainstorms only make it as far as the unresponsive air, but the world is probably better for it. These blogs can only take so much theorizing from commonfolk like me.

I will hopefully update with a little more regularity, because I feel overwhelmed right now to try bring everything in my life up to present.

go in peace and grace.