February 22, 2013


This afternoon I am grateful for doubt.

Coming from me, this is pretty big. Doubt has been my arch nemesis as long as I can remember. He stalks my every move, whispers in the shadows, and snags my cape when I want to fly. 

Yet I have learned so much from Doubt. God has used my doubt to strengthen my faith. Even though times in Doubt's company are dark and difficult, they have pushed me ever in the direction of my Creator. Doubt taught me what Edna taught us: "no capes!" 

But really. Doubt has taught me what hinders my faith, and sends me back to the Word for understanding. Doubt whets my appetite to know who God is, to learn all I can about Him. Knowing the way God works, this will not be for my faith alone, but for the faith of others, too. Doubt makes me realize that I am not enough, that my intellect cannot suffice, that I have to trust Him. It deflates my easily inflated pride.

This gratefulness is spreading like wildfire throughout my life. I sat miserably this morning through my two classes because my throat hurts and I had chills. Because I am not feeling well, I decided to spend the afternoon on the floor with blankets, my Bible, my journals, my quote book, my sketchbook, and my stuffed animals. (no shame). My being sick made me stop and rest in Him, so that He could tell me who He is. I am so glad my cold made me flop clumsily into His holy presence. See, He turns our logic on its head. The things that drive us crazy are the things we should be grateful for, because He uses them to strengthen us, build our patience and endurance. Complaining is a sign of ingratitude.

It isn't easy. Complaining is something I have used to empathize with other people. Though I had good intentions, this is not healthy, and it has taken its slow toll on my joy. This will be another growing adventure full of missteps and stumbles. But my stumbles keep me humble. And already, contentment is filling my soul. I have so much to do, but I am content to be overwhelmed, because I know that He is doing something. Something in me is changing and I am excited to know what He will do!

"Redemption was born on a far darker day than this one, so bring the chaos. Bring the madness. Do whatever You've got to do to recreate my heart. After all, it's me that needs to change, not my circumstances." Mike Donehey

February 9, 2013

wisdom from my friend Hugo

{Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains takes you to places. I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine... I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.}

These are the wise words of a young boy named Hugo Cabret. (from the excellent film Hugo) He lives in a train station winding clocks and fixing a broken mechanical man that is the only connection to his deceased father. He is alone. But he finds a friend, Isabelle, and says these words when she worries she might never know her purpose. 

I sat watching the beautifully filmed scene as the two kindred spirits look out over Paris, imagining it to be a clock with gears and cogs, and tears filled my eyes. God's plan is that machine. There are just enough parts. None of us is an extra.

God always uses the unexpected to touch my heart and remind me who He is. He is sovereign. He also made me, not as an extra part, but as a purposed soul. Lately I have been confused about what I am confused about, and running to keep up with school and commitments has not helped. Purpose has seemed like a far off mountain shrouded in the mist of the present hectic-ness. The ability to fulfill my purpose has seemingly burned to ashes, charcoal streaks lingering on my hands. 

{Maybe that's why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn't able to do what it was meant to do... Maybe it's the same with people. If you lose your purpose... it's like you're broken.} Hugo.

We are all broken. Something just isn't right in us. Two gears don't fit quite right, and a spring is a bit out of place. All of our parts are a little rusty with sin. Yet the Creator of this giant mechanical world wants to come in and take us apart. He has to take everything out so He can fix it, find new parts, and give us strength to fulfill our purpose. That purpose is clear: love God, and because of His love, love people--bringing Him glory.

When we feel purposeless, we must remember the cross. It was perhaps the most deliberate and purposeful event of all time, the most scandalous act of love in history.

Remember the cross. Remember your purpose.