Pouring Over The List Of Joy

Hi friends. I found myself talking out loud about joy this last week and…there’s a bit of wonder and a glimpse of God in expressing these little nothings in spoken, real words to someone else.  In the midst of my words, I found I got caught up all over again in the moments. literally lost as if all around me faded until I brought myself back to the conversation. That’s where I find myself when I share them here…pouring over my list, remembering, seeing afresh the ways that God shows up in all things and picking a few to share with you…

562. making happy spaces in nooks and corners

566. laughing at tomtom

572. buying my first pair of TOMS

582. smushing ice down while walking

591. getting teary eyed during UP

617. questions that make me ponder me

629. being a words girl that has to add words to the picture

641. mama buying me rain boots

643. seeing christmas lights on a drive

649. putting my feelings to songs

655. writing in new colors in my bible

678. walks…going on them, remembering them, looking forward to them

703. listening to others share and sharing about what makes each of our faces light up

What about you? I love hearing where you find joy…it adds to the wonder.

 

Running Around

“Authenticity has less to do with what I look like and more to do with what I say and do.” –Sarah

A while back there was thing called “Real Me” running around the “blogosphere.”  I kept intending to participate, but never ended up having a camera after those real me moments. Until tonight…

See, the real me loves to run.  I haven’t always. Back when I played tennis like it was my job, I loathed running.  But then, tennis season ended and I love the feeling of a good workout…

So, on a whim, I picked up running. I hit the pavement searching for cute little neighborhoods and found myself loving the mixture of music, God time, and the feelings afterward (from i hurt to okay I did that!).   Give or take about three years, here I am still running.

Now, as for the picture…I took this little gem right after my 16.1k (or 10 mile) run–sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself…  My legs hurt. I did not smell pretty. I’m pretty sure I had salt on my face. I had just listened to Battlefield on repeat 22 times to remind me to get my armor on (yes…I counted while I ran and I wanted to get my $1.29 worth out of the song I bought in part just for this ridiculously long run and check out Ephesians 6).

I’ve got my cross and heart necklace around my neck (I’ve worn the cross since high school and June gave me the heart last year–yeah…I never take it off…literally).  I have a watch on my right hand (and no, I’m not left handed, I just like that hand better for watches).  I’m wearing flip flops because that’s how I roll even in negative temperatures.

I’m missing my big earrings and sunglasses, but  just imagine they’re there because they normally are.  Oh, and yes, I’m taking a cheesy self-portrait hand out smiling style picture because I like documenting things like this and yes I smile in them…iPhoto has plenty of these stored away.

So, there’s a little glimpse into the real me. I’ll try to share more as these moments pop up, but I’ve written more than enough me…tell me something about the “real you” because I so would love hearing from you!!! (and yes, I use multiple exclamation points or question marks to emphasize that I really do want to know..I do) 🙂

Weddings

One of my absolute favorite parts of a wedding is looking at the groom when the bride walks into the room.  Everyone stands up and turns to look at the bride, but I love seeing his face instead because I know she’ll be beaming all the way down the aisle.  He’s the one who is waiting at the end and can’t wait to meet her eyes.  Especially because when they finally see each other you just know so much love is being transferred through their eyes.

Some of you may know that I don’t really see in vivid “pictures,” but I see more in words, feelings, concepts.  I don’t know how to explain how I see other than not in clear, vibrant pictures.  All of that to say that today after I got back from a prayer walk I started asking God about what He sees and He gave me the verse 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  Along with that, He showed me about how He sees me and how I am completely forgiven, clothed in an absolutely gorgeous white wedding dress.  To trump that, He is the groom looking with those expectant, excited, loving, forgiving, and full eyes.  I know, I know, sounds a bit lovey dovey and corny, but then there’s so much power in seeing ourselves as He actually sees us thanks to the blood of Christ.  When we fix our eyes on Him, we see that He has already won the race for us.  Such freedom in living and standing on His promises.

I Can.

Running on base proves to be a little tricky here because I’m not a huge fan of hills.  I avoid them if at all possible.  I much prefer running downhill or on flat ground.  Lately, running proved to be a struggle since I took a week off for Cape Town and then was sick for a while during Family Days.  I’m just now trying to get back into the groove of things.  Though, I’ve been frustrated with my lack of motivation and lack of results.  I hadn’t ran in two days and then started talking with another intern, Allen, about running last night and the upcoming Flatberg race (15k including going up a mountain…).  The conversation gave me the drive to finally get out and complete a “good” run.

I started out this morning determined to get up and go.  I set my alarm and was out the door by 6:05 a.m. with my iPod Nike+ set to a distance of 7k.  About 2k into my run, I got this ridiculous idea that I shouldn’t just run 7k, but, no, I should run a 10k.  Mind you, the farthest I’ve ran in the last week or two has been around 35 minutes.  But, when I decide something that’s that.  So, I kept running and running.  Being bored, I did some run there and then run back along with some circles in the field.  Basically, I did everything possible to not go up hill and still complete a 10k.  All of that to say that I did.  I ran 10.02k in 55:30 min. which translates into a 5:32 min/km pace or a 8:54 min./mile.  This was only 1 minute slower than the 10k I ran in July. Woot!  For being out of practice, I was happy.  Also, I was reminded of the power of determination, persistence, and the need to set my eyes on an achievable goal while not letting my feelings get in the way or let my mind start believing the lies of “I can’t.”

So, what’s been your greatest accomplishment this week?

Take Away

You give and take away

You give and take away

My heart will choose to say

Lord Blessed be Your name

—-

For the longest time whenever I heard this song, I immediately thought that the “take away” part included things that I wanted to keep.  Like sacrificing in certain areas or having to give up certain things.  Yet, as I listened to the song a few weeks ago….it finally dawned on me that, no, the Lord can take away other things as well!  Things I WANT Him to take away including sickness, pain, feelings, desires, and so much more.  By taking away these things, He gives me so much more and replaces them with things even better than I can imagine.

The Morning

Funny how everything you write in the middle of the night when you’re beaten down, exhausted tired, and emotional seems a bit exaggerated in the morning light.  Not that it’s untrue, just a little over the top.  A little less daunting.  A little more manageable.

Distortion and Deception

A few weeks ago I went to the Chapel where Lauren Winner spoke.  She has written Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity and Girl Meets God.  I just noticed she had a book coming out today too! Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines.  Now that I’ve fully publicized her books (which I haven’t read, but want to), we can move on to the actual talk.

Here are some of the key points/interesting quotes

  • “I’m a writer mostly because I don’t know what I think until I write about it”–I agree with this wholeheartedly!  I can see my opinions and ideas SO much more clearly after I’ve written about them.
  • The notion that if you have premarital sex or engage in sexual sin then you will wake up feeling awful is a LIE. This may be true for some, but not for everyone.
  •  Our feelings and epistemologies are DISTORTED
  • Feelings have to be refined and checked against scripture.
  • Lie # 2: If you’ve had premarital sex or other sexual sin you will be scarred for life, you’ve committed an unforgivable sin, it will haunt you, ect.  Though, the lessons of sexual sin are long lasting and many find it hard to unlearn behavior.
  • Jesus is the “master gardener”
  • Be careful not to idolize marriage
  • We can be quite prone to self-deception–especially in areas of sex, money and time.
  • Repentance is not about pretending the sin did not happen–rather it is about turning and living faithfully

For me, the biggest part that hit close to home was the reminder that my feelings are distorted and that I am really good at deceiving myself.  Eventually in the “Confessional” blogs I will probably expand on these thoughts.