December 28, 2011


People come and go-I have heard it a thousand times or more. I am not very good at the "you have to let some of them fade out of your life" part. You see, I suffer from a disease called cares-a-lot syndrome. Not a very elegant or professional term, I know, but you get the picture. It sounds like a Care Bear problem.

Certain people are just hard to let go of. Of course, being a quasi-normal functioning, social human being,  I have had quite a collection of acquaintances. It has never been easy to let go of those I have loved. Once people have entered my heart, it is hard to get them out. But a majority of lost friendships I have come to terms with and accepted as beautiful memories.

Two missing friends are on my heart tonight, however.

One has struggled with many things in her life, and I was there for her. Still, I do not think she understands the depth of comfort she gave me in a time of loneliness and insecurity: my first quarter in college.

The other was one of the first people I opened up to, that I was myself with and whether he knows it or not, was an invaluable friend. He said some of the most wise things I have ever heard, and could be so much. I just want him to know what I see in him.


We are full of holes. I believe that every person we love takes a piece of us-whether they ask for it, desire it, treasure it or not, they still have something of me. These are holes only He can fill. He may not fill them at the speed and rate that we expect or desire. Healing is never speedy. My two friends each have piece of me whether they realize it or not, and I am just going to have to let God fill me up in His time.

It is not in my nature to give up on anything, especially people. Someday they may see how dear they are to me and perhaps even feel how I have loved them all along. And maybe they won't. Nevertheless, I refuse to give up. There is always hope, though I have accepted that nothing may ever happen.

"Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be."

December 27, 2011

I lift my eyes...

{Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.}
John Muir

The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. 

I was born in those mountains. My first cry was uttered among their valleys, my first home among them. A part of me will always be in those mountains. Though I did not live there long, I spent a good third of my childhood there visiting my grandparents. Looking upon those mountains I see the shadows of my younger years dancing and trotting around, fishing and wading in their streams, running along their valleys and up their slopes. There is nothing so comforting as those mountains. As Muir said, peace flows in me when I go there. Winds blow freshness into my spirit and cares fall away. Nothing clears my mind, corrects my perspective like gazing at this view: the rolling blue mountains, the green and gold fields and the jade streams. 

What is it about this beauty that is so calming, so comforting? It plays through my mind in times of sorrow, so much so, that I painted a humble remembrance of the sight for my room at college to console my homesick heart. Perhaps it is in this beauty that God shows us a glimpse of how beautiful He is. He painted the travelling clouds, planted each stretching tree, smoothed each hill, and cut each hole in the clouds to pour the sunbeams through. This familiar view never ceases to push the tempo of my heartbeat and shock my breath into tiny gasps. To even think that He is more beautiful than this? Unimaginable. And Heaven, his masterpiece? Greater than this? Unthinkable.

Of course Heaven is the utmost home, but we have homes on earth too. This is one of them. Its familiarity is comforting. Almost twenty years I have been loving this place. It only becomes dearer since I get to see it less now. Nothing is more dear than a familiar memory except a familiar sight. 

Perhaps to the eye it is not the most amazing sight, this picture of my grandparents' view. It is certainly not the most dramatic, amazing or unusual in the world. But I cannot help thinking it is the best. It is where I would run to if I ever was faced with a great uncertainty, a big problem. It is almost easier to be with God there, unhindered by the trappings of normal life, of industrialized cities and the society they bring. It is the best place to think and listen to Him. Nowhere can I see Him better.

It is, to me, the best view on earth.

I wish I could say it more profoundly, more beautifully, but I can't. 

December 18, 2011

Yuletide Nostalgia

{Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.} Deborah Whipp

At this moment the snowflakes of my memories are falling heavily. It is a beautiful orchestrated dance as I wander about my house in a nostalgic haze.

I look at the tree and recall each year and the boxes of ornaments. Sorting through the broken ones, the old ones, new ones, beautiful ones, ugly ones, cherished ones has always been my favorite tradition. We always do it in the evening, the house dimly lit by our lamps, Christmas music brightly chiming out. My dad would be sitting nearby somewhere reading as my mom, my sisters and I laughed and sang our souls out. Mom would lift an ornament out of the old boxes, and cinematic memories would sweep through the room like whispers.

I gingerly lift my blown-glass ornaments and carefully, thoughtfully place them on the tree. Random associations whizz by as I recall the places they were purchased, the time spent at those places no longer visited. I recall the people who are associated with certain ones.

Soon these thoughts and memories will be carefully wrapped in tissue and stored away in my mind's attic. Crumbs and leftover tinsel thoughts will be swept into the cracks. I will not bring them out during the year-they do not belong in the rest of the year. It is odd and somehow uncomfortable to gaze on Christmas memories when the air is warm and the ground no longer white. For now I will enjoy them as they are strung about my mind like Christmas lights, pouring a warm glow upon my heart with their trifling brightness. My little snowflakes that will soon melt away until next year. And new ones will mix themselves in next year.

This will be one of them. This year I did not get to decorate the tree. It feels as if part of my Christmas had faded. As I walk about my house, something seems so out of reach. It is the tree. I do not know where the ornaments are placed on it, I do not know the laughs and smiles associated with each one. As I gaze upon the glowing tree, my joy is shadowed by a little bit of sadness.

But it is joy nonetheless. For I am home now, I am where I can go and the essence of myself is unquestioned. Not that being questioned is a bad thing, but sometimes we need rest, rejuvenation. Time to just revel in the joy of the light that Christmas sheds on our lives. For what more wondrous light than that of Christ? A King willing to abandon prosperity, the warmth and purity of heaven for the dirt, sin and temptations of this earth. There is no light so luminous as that of love, and His love is the most lustrous of all. Brighter than my memories. Brighter than every Christmas tree we've ever had put together. Brighter than the immensity of the sun.

That is what lights our hearts at Christmas. Not trees, not icicles, snowmen or candles. The snow, the tree, the ornaments, the stockings will all sit in the glow of this light as wonderful memories, treasured for all of my life. Maybe it is a little cliche, but no one ever said cliches were not the truth.

I hope you have a blessed holiday. May His light brighten the glow of your living rooms and kitchens. May you laugh and smile at the mishaps and jokes with full gusto! Merriest of Christmases!

December 12, 2011

remembrance in light of hope

{Memory is not so brilliant as hope, but it is more beautiful and a thousand times more true.}
George D. Prentice

This is one of the most beautiful sentences ever written. The images it brings to mind, the implications of the words, the sound of the words, are all part of what makes it a wonderful thought to me. I am a great collector of quotes, hence this blog, and this is one of my favorites.

Yet, this quote has puzzled me since the day I first read it, perhaps adding to its appeal. I have spent many moments of my spare time, that probably add up to hours, reflecting on this statement. I have asked myself, "why is memory more beautiful than hope? And more true?" I did not ask whether it was true-why is that? Something in me sort of knows that it is true, whatever it means.

Perhaps someday it will click completely. For now, I do my best to come up with some sort of explanation.

I think about memories, especially my most beautiful ones, and why I cherish them. Sometimes my memories are just faint colors, fuzzy images and muffled sounds. Sometimes they are more clear. Sometimes they are dark, often they are vividly colored with deep hues and very few pastels. Memories are also in the past, which might be why I see them as dark. They are like old photos, stored away in a dim attic inside dark boxes. taking them out in the bright light would be strange to me. Some things seem more real in darkness. Perhaps that is why I rarely use my overhead lights, waiting for the last ray of sunlight to slip over the horizon before daring to flip the switch. Natural light and candlelight seem real, and fluorescent and incandescent light seem fake. I sit in the dark a great deal. I get made fun of for it, but I don't mind really. I love talking to people in more dimly lit rooms. The light almost seems a barrier and when it is taken away, reality seems safer.

Perhaps that light is a barrier that keeps hopes so distant. The way I picture hopes, the future, is also blurry like memories, but usually my imaginings are very bright and hazy with light. They almost glow and use a palette of mainly pastels. The glow obscures details more than the dimness obscures memories. That is why I believe Mr. Prentice that memory is not so brilliant as hope. Hope is certainly brighter than my memories.

Then why is memory more true than hope? Memories are of what has happened, and hope is only what can be, might be. Hopes can change, but memories are relatively stable. We may bring new associations with memories, but they are still of something that happened, something that cannot be erased from history. Also, there are many different emotions attached to memories. These emotions are recognizable, though sometimes there are so many wrapped up together they are indistinguishable from each other. But they are there and they are ingrained in the records of our minds. Hope, on the other hand, is to me almost an emotion itself. This emotion shifts and morphs with the slightest breeze of thought. Our hopes change; they grow, shrink, widen, shorten, twist, stand on their heads and spin like a whirlwind.

The part, then, that I struggle with is that memory is more beautiful than hope. Something in me wants to believe that isn't true on principle. I do not know what principle, though I feel it is some sort of outside pressure. My heart, in opposition,  believes that the memories are more beautiful. I do not know why, but it does. I cannot explain it. Perhaps it is my love of twilight, the time of day when the light is not gone, but it flees. Memories look to me like twilight. Perhaps I am completely off my rocker, but I see memories in my head as dark, dim or dusky. Hopes I see like high noon, almost hidden by the light. I love my hopes, my dreams and my aspirations. Yet something in me loves my memories almost more. I thrive on remembering.

Dreaming of the future is wonderful, and yes, I keep my eyes forward, focusing on what is coming rather than what has been. But occasionally I like to shuffle through the journals of my thoughts, filed away in the memory room in my mind. I look at the pictures, the feelings, the thoughts and revel in the memories. Sometimes those memories are what keep me going forward. Remembering those good and beautiful times spurs me on to find more times like them, and maybe even better ones. And perhaps it is by the light of our hopes we can still see those memories. Perhaps it is our memories that fuel our hopes in the end. And so the cycle goes on, hope showing memories, fueling hope.

Well, at least those are some thoughts on Mr. Prentice's wisdom. Whether they are right or wrong? I may never know.

December 6, 2011

City on the Hill

City on the Hill
Casting Crowns

Did you hear of the city on the hill?
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other

You see, the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak

And one by one, they ran away
With their made-up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade in the city on the hill
The city on the hill

Each one thought that they knew better
But they were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide

And the world is searching still

But it was the rhythm of the dancers
That gave the poets life
It was the spirit of the poets
That gave the soldiers strength to fight
It was the fire of the young ones
It was the wisdom of the old
It was the story of the poor man
That needed to be told.....

This song is beautiful. What a wondrous picture is painted by the words. I love the message of unity and acceptance. It makes me think of the ministries and friends in my life. Do we rely on each person to build the others up?


I hate to be blunt, but I think it is true. And I contribute to it. You see, I think that so often, when we are in a good place with God, or even when we are not, we think that our way of expressing and living for God is the one right way. We want everyone to see as we see, instead of wanting everyone to see as God sees. I know that I am guilty of this. It is hard to understand others sometimes, even if we are the most understanding person. People with very different ways of worshiping, talking about Jesus, and participating in fellowship are sometimes hard to connect to at first. The quiet people are ignored because people get tired of trying to talk to them, and the loud people are sometimes seen as unapproachable. Little do we realize how much of an impact we could have if the two could work together. And all the other kinds of people too. If our dancers could give our poets life, who could give the soldiers strength, who could protect the young and the old, poor and rich. If the spiritually mature could support the spiritually young, and if the spiritually young could motivate the spiritually mature.

As cliche as it sounds, we are like a puzzle. Each piece is different, and fits perfectly into the body of Christ. We all have a unique perspective of God to bring to the church, a unique way to serve God. Oftentimes it can seem very similar on the surface, but at the heart of it, each person's journey is different, so each person's experience of God is a different facet of who He is. And if we pull together we can get a clearer picture of God because we listen to each other, feel with each other and praise God together.

Of course we will not be perfect as the body of Christ until we are called home. But we can work hard to improve the way we are now. We can let God bring us together instead of our style of worship, our personality type and our comfortableness. It isn't easy. Who ever said it would be? But it is beautiful. And as Mark Hall said, "When we pull together and stop talking about what we are against, and a little bit more about what we're for, then we start to see God move."

I want to live in the city on a hill, where the poets and the dancers and the soldiers and all the other folks appreciate how much we rely on each other. Don't you?

November 24, 2011

give me Your eyes

"Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see..."
Give me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath

Every once in a while a stray comment, a subtle look, a word will surprise me and remind me. Remind me that I am different. I am really not sure how to explain it, but I am learning to see the world from a view that contrasts to the view of many people. I already do, really. It is hard to express sometimes, and hard for me to show, but I see people very differently. I do not want to sound at all pompous or "holier than thou," but only express what I have observed.

I do not really dislike many people until the idea is put into my head. I am just not really inclined to dislike people in general. I try to see them as just as stuck as me. I try to look for the positive side, the other perspective. I try hard not to judge. I try to look at people and remember that they have hopes and dreams and hurts. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, even when it ends up hurting me.

It is a hard way to see things let me tell you. It makes me more responsible for the way I treat people I do not like. It requires a powerful conscience. But it is how God sees us. We do not even know half of what distant people suffer-so how can we condemn them? Things are so often misconstrued. That is why I try to keep an 100% honesty policy with my dearest friend. Of all people, I don't want to misunderstand her, and she does not want to misunderstand me. Even when it is hard, sometimes, I feel that this deep honesty and vulnerability is healthy. God already knows what hurts me, often before I know it hurts, but she cannot read my mind. And though she shares all her weaknesses, I still see her as one of the strongest people I know. Yes she is weak-and so am I, but I have seen her face those weaknesses and be filled with the mighty strength of God, a powerful thing to see indeed.

We have heard it so often, that God's strength is made perfect in weakness, but I do not think we always believe it. On the contrary, I think we feel we have to stay strong, that we have to be rocks, emotionally speaking, and not let anything get to us. This, I believe is for protection from judgment. I think God just laughs at us, trying to hold it all in, bursting at the seams with hurts and sorrows.

We are messed up, shipwrecks on the shores of life. Only God can set us sailing again. Rather than trying to sail while sinking further and further, we have to admit we do not have it all together. We have to run to God, and let Him slowly patch our holes, mend the sails and empty us of all the water we have taken in. We have to let Him tear out a few boards more so He can fix the holes well, let Him poke and pull our sails so they are mended cleanly and we can sail firmly. He has to take out the dirty water, empty us of all that we have held onto, so that He can fill us with blessed cargo of kindness, generosity and love and carry it to those in need.

As I think about this more and more, I feel that we all want to think this way, or even that we do think this way. It is the execution that we get stuck on. Wouldn't everything be a little simpler if we all looked at the world as though it is hurting? To realize that we are not the only ones with sorrows, struggles and pain? I certainly haven't mastered it, let me tell you. The influence of other people can hit us hard. To fit in, sometimes, this part of us is compromised first. I don't want to compromise this anymore. I want to be better, to judge less and love more. I am going to try my hardest, pray my deepest prayers to see as God sees. To look for the good in folks, to hurt for them and treat them as though they are loved...

because they are.

"give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing. Give me Your love for humanity. Give me Your arms for the brokenhearted, the ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me Your love for the ones forgotten, give me Your eyes so I can see."

November 20, 2011

A Grateful Heart

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
H.U. Westermayer

This is one of those quotes that kind of slapped me in the face. I knew how hard it was for the pilgrims, I have read about them, read the poetry of Anne Bradstreet which describes her sorrows and joys. The way we see it, the joys were outnumbered by the sorrows. Perhaps that is not how they saw it. To them, being alive was a blessing. Being with their families was something to be thankful for. Seven times more graves than huts. Mind-blowing.

Speaking of numbers....


That is the number of food insecure families who will have a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the food pantry I volunteer at. Without the food pantry, they would have to scrounge and go without all the trappings. Not only the food pantry itself, but the people of the community are responsible for this generosity. 

I watched from my place as one of the pantry coordinators stood at the front of the line of people directing them. She wore black pants and a black shirt and an apron and a floppy white collar and a white bonnet. She was a makeshift pilgrim. She did not just stand at the front of the line and direct, but gave a hug to almost every person in line. And they were good hugs, too. I thought to myself, "Wow, she has more love in her heart than most of us." She truly does and it came out in hugs that day. I went inside briefly where another lady I know was also directing traffic. She was so cheerful and welcoming to the people. She could make anyone feel at home. These women are an inspiration with their joy, a stark contrast to me as I walk around in bipolar moodiness half of the time.

Earlier this week, I was at the pantry volunteering. During the two hours I was there, almost 1,000 pounds of donations came in. I have participated in school food drives before, but I have never been anywhere near the other end. Now I have seen the faces of those blessed by donations. I have heard their discouraged sighs, and seen their grateful smiles. Seeing that much food come in, knowing it will help others along and perhaps even change their lives, it brought tears to my eyes. Even though sorting though and date-checking can be monotonous and boring, just seeing the back of the pantry overflowing with boxes and bags was unbelievable. Knowing that those cans and packages will bring a comfortable Thanksgiving meal to families across the community is amazing. It puts donating into perspective. 

What is great about the food pantry I volunteer at, is the emphasis on dignity. You see, the way they treat the "clients" is with the attitude that it could just as easily be the volunteers seeking help. There is no pride, no thought of being above those who come for help. God made them, and He is using the pantry to help them out, and it is not something to be ashamed of. 

The volunteers inspire me. They give up their time and work hard to keep the pantry going. Not only are they supportive of clients but also of fellow volunteers, and we have some good laughs. They love God and they seek after Him. They are grateful for the immensity of the blessings God has poured on them.

So it is with a grateful heart this year that I return to my home and eat with my family and friends, thinking of the pilgrims and then those 230 families who will be celebrating God's generosity with me 100 miles away.

November 14, 2011

The Silence of Solitude

"Silence is frightening because it strips us as nothing else does, throwing us upon the stark realities of life."
Dallas Willard

I gave this quote to a friend today, because it described what he was trying to say pretty well. He had been basically alone all weekend and so he had a lot of time to think about some situations in his life. This quote came to my mind immediately.

This is one of the reasons, I think, that people tend to avoid silence. It is very, well, stark, as Willard said. There are no words to hide behind in silence. When we are silent together,  we do not know what the other is thinking, but we feel stripped, bare, and unprotected by meaningless chatter. Silence alone can be almost more frightening. Honestly, it is much harder to lie to myself when I am in a silent room. It is almost as if when we stop talking, reality, truth and sometimes even clarity just seem to float up. It is as though we were trying to push them down under the water with words and music and sounds, but as soon as we let go, they rise to the top of our thoughts.

That is where this next quote connects in for me.

"The whole value of solitude depends upon one's self; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell as we ourselves make it."
John Lubbock

Some days, solitude is torturous. I sit alone, thinking, unable to stop for even a moment. Other days, solitude is a comfort, an escape, a time to refuel, collect thoughts and revive my heart. It is the silence that makes solitude that way. Solitude "strips" us, stands us before ourselves and reveals to us the innermost struggles that burden our minds. The deepest hurts, hardest pains surface in the pools of our thoughts when we are alone.

It is hard to be alone sometimes. But it is healthy to have solitude, time where we do throw ourselves upon the "stark realities of life," so that we can think and face our thoughts undisturbed. We must think and reflect, take walks alone and hide away every so often to gain perspective on life.

November 8, 2011

"Satisfy me Lord of all...."

content: adjective
satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else

Sitting in a tree, warmed by the spring sun through a white veil of apple blossoms.

Swift strokes of a paddle that glide my kayak smoothly over the blue lake as a cool breeze ruffles through my hair.

Sitting in the dim lights of a dorm lounge until 3am sharing thoughts on life and being vulnerble with the people who matter.

Yet to me, true contentment isn't simply those moments that we feel satisfied and full. Contentment is a decision.

We will be discontent until we see God face to face, so true satisfaction will never come here. We must learn to be content in our discontent. We must learn to accept the fact that we will be uncertain, uneasy, confused and dissatisfied. Learning to acknowledge uncertainty while also seeing the beauty of the life God has given us, is where contentment comes.

There are days where the rain pierces my cold skin like ice and yet, I can see and appreciate what I have. There are days when the sun warms my skin like flannel and yet I fear the unknown.

Where am I going?

How will I get there?

Will I be alone?

Will I ever find him?

How long until...everything else?

I don't know.

But I am okay with that. God knows where I am going, and I don't need to worry about it as long as I follow Him and trust Him. Perhaps contentment is walking along the edge of a cliff without worrying about falling and enjoying the view on both sides instead of thinking about the drop. Perhaps it is walking and only being able to see the ring of light the lantern of God's love shows, and finding it beautiful and worthwhile instead of wondering fearfully what waits in the dark. Perhaps contentment is strength, strength that takes time and thought and God to build.

I am glad that I do not know what is going to happen. It will be an adventure, a journey worth commencing. I am glad that God knows what is going to happen. He is the One I can trust. And I will trust Him.

Today is a beautiful day. The sun pours in my window and my curtains are swept by the breeze like the sails of a ship. I have a million things to do, a million thoughts in my head, worries in my mind, sorrows on my heart. But I am breathing. I am alive. God is near. I am content.

October 26, 2011


I like a website called It has a link to a page of "Thought Questions," where questions are asked that cannot be answered easily. I decided to do this blog about today's question (in no particular order):

What are ten things in your life right now that make you smile?

1. My friends-long-known, new, close and far away
2. Autumn: an impressionist painting of golds, scarlets and sunshine
3. Being introduced to new and touching songs
4. Adventures to both unknown and remembered places
5. God
6. Dense, creamy, delicious milkshakes
7. Singing with a piano instead of just the wind
8. Wearing gloves
9. Memories of autumn at home
10. Learning continually to step out of the circle I call comfort, despite my fear

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable."
Joseph Addison

What is something in your life right now makes you smile?

October 21, 2011

no need for words

"The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you've had." Unknown

We sat on the cold stone wall watching the remnants of the sun's red cloak sweep behind the dark trees. The thick grey clouds drifted overhead and we watched through the blue windows they made as the stars faded into light. We said a lot but didn't talk much.

Looking down from that hill into the dim park was like looking at the future-far yet near, visible, yet unclear and poorly lit. Probably just how it should be.

I could try to word my thoughts, but I feel that what I wish to say cannot be articulated, but felt. All I can say is that we didn't even notice the silence, because it really wasn't pure silence. It was humid with thoughts and cluttered with understanding.

Adventures with the best of friends leave me feeling blessed.

October 16, 2011

A Coward's Courage

"We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous"

Casting Crowns

I went to see Courageous, the movie made by Sherwood pictures (Fireproof and Facing the Giants) for the second time last night. As I sat in the darkness and the actions of the men and women of the story flashed before my eyes, it struck me. I am a coward. This is not the first time that this thought has "hit me between the eyes" but it always hits just as hard. Do I have the courage to resolve to be a better person before God and the people around me? In writing? The men in the story did. They made a resolution to be better by, for and with God. They, though perhaps burdened by fear, took a step of faith.One of them failed. The other three found strength from God they could never have fathomed. I want that. I want that faith. But it is a comfort to me that I want more faith. It shows me that I am hungry for a better relationship with God, that I want to rely on His unending strength and not my own fragile, practically nonexistent strength. Nonetheless, I want to be better, more focused and more dependent on God.  I want to stand, reliant on God, and bold for His name. "It starts with us tonight."

The other thought that came to my head was my future. Husband that is. It is hard to watch others date and be happy when I have never had a relationship. It is hard to watch people grow closer to each other in that way while I-well, watch. What I found from Courageous was courage to be patient. There is a man who has resolve, maybe he doesn't yet, but who will be resolved to be a man, a husband and a father. He isn't here right now, so I am obviously not ready and neither is he. Waiting for him will be worthwhile, and I will strive with God's strength to be a woman of God, for him. I long for the day I will meet him, or rather the day that I know it is him. But I am content. Content to wait and grow and be satisfied with the wonderful friends and family I have. When I need him, God will send him. Or when he needs me, I will be sent. However it works out is fine with me. I trust Him to cross our paths in His own time. His own good time. It takes courage to be patient. Courage that I don't have. So this is my prayer for him and I: "Lord make us Courageous."

October 10, 2011


This may seem a bit soon, but I am thinking about revamping this blog. I was never really happy with it-the look, the name, the theme (or lack thereof.) I had an epiphany while attempting to take a nap. I had just been looking at some of my favorite quotes and thinking about how much I love quotes, songs and poetry. I love words. I love the words of other people and thinking about my reaction to them and how those words affect me. And wisdom. Wisdom is something I almost desperately crave. I have always wished to be wise, and the wisdom I find in songs and poetry keeps me going some days. God gave me talent in turning phrases, but I admire the talent He gave to the people that I quote. I am mulling over the idea that this can be a place where I share that wisdom and its affect on me, in the hope that maybe it will help you along the way as well. I don't know what to cal it yet, I don't know what it will look like, but I know that it will be more of what I want to do. I will probably post the occasional random post about funny or amazing things that happen if I think they are worth your time. But my focus will be on quotes from literature, poetry and songs. I also will do some words (like nostalgia). I feel like this will be a better way to go for me and I am excited! Let me know what you think of the idea. Thanks!

October 8, 2011

The Mists of Nostalgia

nostalgia: noun

That subtle and slightly bittersweet ache that we feel when overcome by memories. It can be brought on by something as easy as looking backward out of a car window, or something as hard as stepping into the decaying ruins of a place from our childhood. The slightest scent, the most obscure color can cause an upheaval of our minds where memories crash down incessantly like a waterfall. We drink those memories as though we had been in the desert for days –and maybe we have. A desert is a place devoid, so perhaps we have been devoid of love, of peace, of comfort, of clarity. The hazy clarity of these memories is a shocking contrast to the sharp distortion of the present. Nostalgia is sorrow, delayed mourning for what has been lost in growth, in change and in progress. It is the realization that recapturing what we had then is both impossible and undesirable, but we desire it anyway. At the same time, it is a joy, a gratefulness that those memories exist, that those days happened. As we travel through the museum of our memories, we are amazed, and sometimes full of wonder at the things which happened to us. Even the painful memories are appreciated for the lessons we learned from them, though the tendrils of pain may brush our hearts as we remember.

There is no season quite so nostalgic as autumn. It symbolizes a time of change, of letting the old go and preparing to face the new. We do this every season, but autumn is both the most beautiful and the most hideous. It begins with the mottled and brilliantly glowing leaves and ends with the stark brown and grey of empty trees and rain. it reminds us of the most beautiful days and the most disheartening ones. We watch as the wind sends showers of scarlets down in the golden light of the sun, marveling and mourning. We marvel at the beauty of the falling leaves, but mourn their flight from the trees. And so as I sit and watch through the wavy glass as leaves fall, I am overcome by memories, by nostalgia. My heart aches gratefully for the moments of wonder. Yet I am content.

October 4, 2011

but...You love me anyway

"But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known.
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me.

I am the thorns in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night,
I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life...

But You love me anyway."

You Love Me Anyway

Sidewalk Prophets
These Simple Truths

Something about this song is amazing. These words break my heart, convict me as I should be convicted. I am the thorns, I am the sweat, I am the nails, I am the kiss, I am the man. I am that man. How many times have I betrayed God, turned my back on Him, forgotten about Him, ignored Him, disrespected Him? Too many. My heart is sinful. I was born with this sin in my soul. And there is nothing I can do about it. I cannot make myself clean. But He can. He did. How freeing is that? I don't have the power to heal myself. All I have to do is trust Him. Trusting is easier said than done of course, but that is another story for another day. The "simple truth" is that despite all the sin we have in us, and all the bad things we do, He loves us. 

1 Corinthians 1:25 talks about how God's foolishness is wiser than our wisest wisdom. His weakness is stronger than our greatest strength. When I read this I thought to myself, "Wow. This is the guy who should be rejecting us. Of anyone who has the right, the power and the justice to condemn us, reject us, leave us, crush us, send us away in disgrace, God has the right. He, according to His own laws, should reject us. We are just as guilty as the man who called for Jesus to be killed instead of a murderer. I know I would love to say that I would not have rejected Christ, but I know myself better.

But He loves us anyway.

The people who hurt Him, the people who rejected Him, the people who made a fool of Him, who tormented Him, who used Him, who mocked Him, who robbed Him, who killed Him: He loved them. Anyway.

People torment me, use me, reject me, make a fool of me, mock me and hurt me. I want to reject them. But how can I have the pride to reject those the Holy God has chosen to die for, to love anyway?

September 20, 2011

"I wish that I wasn't so fragile..."

Today I was reminded of the utter fragility of the human spirit. Sometimes we can be so strong-so strong that it is hard to comprehend. And other times we are so utterly fragile. A young man, I did not know him well, in fact I may never have even spoken to him, he committed suicide. He was well thought of; everyone I had ever met spoke highly of him. He went to my high school. He came to my Bible Study a couple of times.
 My dear friend is hurting very deeply because of his death. Death: such a harsh, yet gentle word. A heavy word, with more connotations than any other word in the English language. He is gone, and it has hurt more people than he probably ever could have imagined. It hurt me, someone he didn't even know. Sometimes I think we underestimate our influence, our importance. I know I do. Sometimes I feel so unnecessary, unwanted. But then my friends, without even knowing it, make everything worthwhile. God shows me my purpose again, He knows just when I need to be encouraged. Feeling that way-unwanted, unnecessary, unloved, not worthwhile; that should not happen and it breaks my poor fragile heart. So I mourn the loss of a soul I knew little of, and I mourn for those who did know him, who loved him, who needed him. He was needed. He was wanted. He was loved.

If you are feeling unwanted, don't be fooled by lies. Someone needs you-somewhere that you may not even be able to see. Walk blindly, with faith that God is working out His plan in your life. Someday, you may be amazed to see what He was doing.

September 10, 2011

Friends + Cinnabon = Joy

Ten o'clock darkness, cut by the village-like lights of the outlet-like mall. But the darkness wasn't really cut, just pushed back, more like a fog that made everything just a little more dim and exquisite. The closed shops seemed sleepy and peaceful and the open ones just quiet as if they had already taken their contacts out for the day and were wearing their glasses. It was cool, but warm all at once and I walked with people I know excitedly. I have only known most of them for about two and a half weeks. That is a very small amount of time, especially for me. But I felt wanted. I felt appreciated. I felt, well, home. Of course, while my heart is swelling with hazy joy, my mind is whispering reason. "It won't last," it says sadly, "They won't want to be around you forever. They just got to college, they'll discover new people and replace you. You are the RA. They sort of have to like you." But my heart retorts that they include me and support me all the time and said they think I am cool, which is shocking to me. And these people, well, they are different. And it has taken less than two weeks for all of them to find a place in my ever-growing heart. My friends from last year are few, but wonderful. And these new friends, too are wonderful. I just hope that I will always have a place in their hearts. My heart won today. I will not think that they will leave. Even if they needed me as a stepping stool, a friend to get to another friend, today, I don't really mind. I had a place, a empty spot in a puzzle that I fit into perfectly, and it is a beautiful memory. So thanks to my friends old and new last night, for taking me to Cinnabon. It was delicious and I will never forget it.

August 26, 2011

A Little Encouragement

Encouragement always seems to come just when it is needed most. Never too early and never too late. God's timing is perfect.

Today I received a note on facebook from my sister who happens to be one of my best friends. I won't bore you with details, but what she told me meant so much to me. I have been going through a rough patch in my relationship with God. I have been feeling attacked on all sides without backup. But she told me that two very special people, very faithful people with whom I relate well and respect are praying for the me and the calling I have been given. I cried as I read those words. This morning I picked up my Bible to seek God for the first time in too long and then I logged onto facebook to see this message from my sister and God's amazing timing just blew me away. He is perfect. He always knows what I need to hear and when hearing it will mean the most to me.

Encouragement is not something I am conservative with. I guess what it boils down to is I know I need encouragement, and I know how much it has meant to me to be encouraged. So I try to be as genuine as possible in my liberal distribution of encouragement. What really is encouragement though? The word courage lies at the heart of it. I don't know the linguistical particulars, but this is my interpretation. When you encourage someone it is like giving a little courage to them. Even when they have enough of their own, sometimes that first step needs a little kernel of someone else's courage just to get some momentum
So today I will leave this room and go out encouraged. And I will encourage those who may be floundering. I will bless others with what I have been blessed with. Be encouraged. Whether you are the only person who reads this or not. Whether you read it today or in 100 years. "Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Victor Hugo

So encourage and be encouraged. God is not asleep.

August 21, 2011

"Only the Beginning of the Adventure...."

I have been spending a great deal of time fine-tuning what this blog looks like, and though still not completely satisfied, I feel the need to post my very first blog post. Now that I am here, typing in this box, I wonder. What do I write? I have so many thoughts to express. I wonder. Why am I doing this? I mean really. I should get a good dose of reality. No one wants to read about what I think. I should just quit now so I am not disappointed when nothing happens. Then my expectations would be met.

I could have avoided a great many disappointments had I been able to end my thoughts there in the past. But something in me, well, it has hope. My imagination flies hoping the tendrils of my thoughts will touch the heart of another person. My qualm is in the question of why I am doing this. I struggle to know if this for myself or for the potential people who may be given hope, encouragement or whatever it is people get by reading blogs.

I do not want it to be for myself, but I do not think I can help it being a little bit for me. That is why I was going to keep myself anonymous. "There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it does not matter who gets the credit." Whoever said this was a very wise person. I am always working on becoming better about it, letting God change my heart to be more and more unselfish. I guess what I am trying to say is that this is for you.

So there it is. My very first post. My heart is pounding with the potential-but my mind is cautious and fearful. If anyone is out there reading this, I thank you from the very bottom of my humble heart. Thank you, Harry Gregson-Williams, for the title of this post. May all of you have a pleasant and lovely day!