the lines blur

The carpet cleaners came yesterday. My room needless to say was not quite in a state where others could come and well, see the floor let alone clean it. I go in streaks of “clean” and tend to like making piles of things like clothes and books.

What started as a little cleaning turned into full blown organizing, throwing away, piling to sell/giveaway, and then rearranging my furniture!  In the midst of all this, I found this “pretty” little, um, bracelet or hair binder or something? Last year, with my girlies we took a night to learn how to crochet.  I think it was supposed to be a mitten.  That was as far as I got and let me tell you…if you could see the stitches (is that even what they’re called!?) you would know they are messy and not pretty!  But, I wore it on my wrist all night to remind me…

At this time last year, my life was a bit like that bracelet. Looking good from a distance, but up-close there were gaping holes, extra string, hasty attempts to cover parts, skipped rows…but the thing is that God didn’t leave me like that. He’s the one who exposed the things I tried to hide, ripped out the lies, filled in my holes, made rows of truth, and used it all for good.

He’s still doing that in my life and will continue this good work until completion. Just like with my room, He’s throwing out some junk that’s stayed in my heart, exposing more lies, bringing in the new, resurrecting dreams, and teaching me to keep laying things at His altar.

I’m so thankful that He keeps saying to me…

“yes, I love you right here, right now, but I’m not going to just let you stay in the muddy pit, baby girl, I’m going to take you out, and transform you into who I created you to be because when I see you, the lines blur between you and me.”

~~

Is God doing a little heart work in you to blur the lines?

How can I be praying for you?

Adjustment

Confession: I tend to be very black and white, all or nothing on some particular things. Yet, I am very see all sides and potentials of a situation while voicing them each. I live in that tension and I’m okay with that…it’s me.  Sometimes this tension makes me stop. pause. for some adjustments. some changes. some prioritization.

As many of you may know, I like to run. a lot. I ran 13 miles last Wednesday and yes, I agree wholeheartedly that doing that is crazy!  I started a training plan without a specific race in mind and more of a way to structure my running, take days off, have a goal.  Not a bad idea at all. But, the thing is…I started letting my structure and running schedule dictate my actions far more than it should.

So, today, I ran with a friend. I usually would have run again to fit in my “scheduled” run, but I drove home instead.

I’m choosing to say no to a schedule so that I can say YES: to God,  to trusting His plan more than my own, to more prayer walks, to remembering that this is NOT failure, believing that I’m not defined by running, to more spontaneous or even planned times with people, and to still running.

Because, really. for me, saying yes to life shared with God and others is worth the adjustment.

right here, right now…joy.

hello week. good-bye weekend. i feel like i need another weekend. seriously i’m finding that the days and weeks keep going faster and faster. before long…i’ll be old 😉 i feel like a happy broken record coming here each week and saying that joy is everywhere and that i feel so….loved. joyful. at peace. excited. at home. seriously, y’all (i’m not southern but i just felt like saying that), God is so very faithful. months ago, one of my intern people told me about how when he was praying for me that he saw a book where i needed to focus on the page at hand rather than look ahead to the end. i think i’m finally starting to live like that and trust God like that. saying hello to the new adventure right here, right now and not trying to make another adventure happen on my own.  so, without further ado, here are some snapshots of joy…

816. knowing that people have my back

830. more swings, more swings (cute little kiddos on the playground)

871. eating brownies with a spoon from the pan with my people

876. melting into peace

879. moments where my heart stops in a good way

880. memories i want to hold onto

888. closing my eyes to soak up the moment

908. bananagrams and cribbage and laughing and fabulous people

938. watching life!

and before you run off…don’t forget to comment because it makes my heart happy to hear from you all! did you watch life? what was the highlight of your week? anything I can be praying for you about?

p.s. i’m SO close to 1000 gifts. 🙂

 

My Ways or His Ways?

Sometimes I find that my perception of God needs a bit of alteration.  I find that I am not consistent in my thinking or that I bought into something that shouts that I’m stuck on my ways instead of seeing them as His ways.

Example One: I found a prayer in one of my journals that asked God to protect me from deception.  And at first, I was like, uh….what!? where were you God–why didn’t you step in and intervene and save the day? Except, the kicker here is that I wanted Him to intervene so that things would turn out how I wanted them.  He DID protect me by allowing others to step in and walk with me. Things just looked different.

Example Two: I keep wanting to put lists, rules, and lines in areas of my life.  But, then, I’m reminded…He wants me to fall in love with Him in such a way that life no longer feels like a list of do’s and don’ts but a crazy madly love that permeates all that I do to where each and every moment translates into an all relying on Him adventure both with Him and others!

Example Three: I found myself verbalizing frustration over waiting on God’s timing…yeah, sometimes I get frustrated.  But, see, I kept thinking of Him as almost teasing or just not wanting to give me want I want.  Though, really, no! That’s not it at all. He wants to wait to give me that amazing delicious tasting satisfying falafel instead of letting me settle for some not so tasty cheeseburger…

How about you? Do you need to adjust or alter some areas you translate your ways as God’s ways?

Repeatable

The last week or so, or maybe most of my life, I find a few songs that I keep on hitting that repeat button over and over. Especially because certain bits and pieces of the lyrics hit a chord in my heart and either make me bust out a dance move or throw back my head in worship.  To end off the weekend with a bang and bring a little joy right into next week, here you go, for your viewing and listening pleasure:

“You Won’t Relent” sung by Jesus Culture (Found at 1:50 in this version of the song)


*this is doing a number on my view of God…
*and reminds me of this song that I even bought and which is still on repeat
*and yes, that is a quote in Afrikaans in my journal 🙂

And here is song #2 “Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher


*yes, if you were a fly on the wall you could probably find me dancing around to this upbeat tune, thanks for sharing this gem of a song, Lisa-Jo!

I write because…

I’m a learner at heart.

As I read and write…I learn about myself, about God, about others, about life.

When I write, I want to capture a moment, a feeling, a piece of truth staring me down, and share that with whoever is listening.

And just maybe, sometimes, the words might strike a cord with someone else’s heart like they did with mine. They might bring up a question, bring them back to a moment, touch them, make them feel alive, let us share life.

Because when I feel deeply, the words are part of the story and what I see.  I don’t want the moment to go unnoticed, to slip away.  So, I capture the memory in the words that portray beautiful truth.  And when this happens, how can I not share the painting?

As life truly is a work of art made up of brush strokes that move us along in the journey.  So, I splash words on paper to evoke inspiration, encouragement, freedom, and the simple every day moments.

Good writing changes me, deepens me, makes my eyes go big and sometimes makes them green with tears.  And good writing itself makes me want to write to stir up the paint to make something beautiful that expresses the abundant life in Christ.

Why do you write?

Multitude Monday

I am really starting to look forward to this post every week! I find myself reflecting on the day with such joy in the simple, little things.  Seeking out the little and BIG ways that God shows up in my life helps me keep my eyes on Him rather than getting distracted or letting the day go by unnoticed.  Without further ado, here is a glimpse into last week:

280. Listening to a song on repeat

282. Comment love

290. Long-term sub position!!!

301. Tokbox chatting with interns 🙂

319. The feeling after I’ve cleaned out my inbox

326. Sentences that challenge

336. Learning to trust God more

How was your week? Any big or little moments of joy that caught your eye?

 

What a Hug!

“Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.” Genesis 33:4

After reading this, I sat back and thought…wow, what a hug that must have been! Such emotion and love all wrapped into two sentences.

I’m not usually a touchy-feely kind of girl, but really. Give me a big hug and I’m soaring. Like the hug captured here with this amazing woman who so walked with me (and still is even if it’s across the ocean for now!) and gave me so many “what a hug!” moments…

We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives –Robert Kennedy

p.s. I love you, June…and now you’ve got me all teary-eyed.

*Photo taken after I was baptized on November 5th 2009

Pressin’ On

Yesterday, I wrote about resting in Him rather than trying to strive toward behavior change versus heart transformation.  There’s a difference. I can self-manage myself all I want, but if I don’t get rid of the roots (side note: I’m trying to correct my Minnesotan accent and say that word correctly except then I just get confused on what way is correct! how do you say it?) and get my heart right then I’m just covering up the real issue.  So true…but along with that…

I need to strain toward what lies ahead. I need to beat my body and make it my slave. Put aside my old self and put on the new. Letting God direct my path and fix my eyes on Him because He is the author and perfecter of my faith.

Where do you find balance between these two? How does it look in your life?