Friday, December 17, 2010

In the End, the New Beginning

She looked at me and said, "I hope you don't expect me to have anything really cool planned, because I don't. I just wanted to spend time with you."

If she only knew how much her just wanting to spend time with me means.

I replied, "I don't care what we do. But I think we should set some ground rules: 1. I don't have to make any decisions. 2. Topics of conversation that are off limits: Hillcrest and Jenna."



And then we were off...
She introduced me to "crack tea" (which I didn't care for).
We did some Christmas shopping.
Spent WAY too much time in T.J. Maxx, but loved every second of it.
Figured out each others' favorite smells.
Laughed a lot.
Talked about normal things; you know, not work.
Sampled liquor that tasted like a cinnamon roll (or a Snickerdoodle, depending on your taste buds)
Did I mention we laughed a lot?
Basically, we spent a few hours learning how to just be friends.

And although I was exhausted, stressed out, and sick, all those things were put on hold for the few hours we spent together and I left her that evening feeling a little bit rejuvenated and pretty excited.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

I heard these words last night: "It's an honor to be your friend."




...talk about a humbling experience.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Another week down...survived.
This past week hit me like a train. My heart was already a bit tender from being at home for the holiday, so the events of the past 7 days didn't meet all the normal guards.


The week started off great -- visited a friend's church, had a great lunch, and made a new friend...a wonderful Sunday.

Anyone who walked into the Clay County office Monday afternoon found JB, Katie and I sitting on the floor, just talking. Not a lot of work got done, but it was so good.

Tuesday morning was a little overwhelming, but the day was redeemed by the evening's events. Over the past few months I have had several opportunities to tell the Hillcrest story; Tuesday evening I got that opportunity at Birthright. I sat in a living room with about 12 others and shared about Hillcrest for well over an hour. As I was leaving, one of the women pulled me aside and said, "It is very evident you love your organization. I loved listening to you talk about it." You can't even understand how much that meant to me. Seriously.

Wednesday was tough. I had to face a failure and come to terms with its consequences. Talking about it for the first time made it that much more difficult, but thankfully that was a conversation with Jed. She met the frustration and disappointment I had (have) with myself with a much needed embrace and these words, "I'm proud of you." Later that night I heard those same words from Sam. Sometimes it's funny the way God chooses to bless us -- this day He used a difficult situation to bring encouragement from two very important women in my life. And I'm grateful. (Sam and Jed: If you're reading this, thank you. You have no idea how much your words mean to me.)

Thursday my commitment to Hillcrest faltered. I didn't want to be there, like at all. Several residents tested my patience. I didn't feel like a good Case Manager. And I missed Lighting of the Quad because I was at the office until 9pm. I just wanted to be a student, but couldn't.

Friday was just...good. Clay County was good; we got a lot done and are feeling really good about Christmas next week. And I was out of Kansas by 4:30...I almost didn't know what to do with myself leaving the office while it was still light out! Friday night meant dinner at Brett's house, which is always wonderful -- this time was no exception. It was refreshing to be social, as I don't get much of that these days.

This morning Kate and I ventured into KC to start my apartment search; and, overall, it went well. AND...Finetime Family Christmas is tonight; my tacky Christmas sweater has been itching to get out of my closet.





Not a very exciting post. I think it was more for my sake, I've needed to process everything.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Skyline

Today I drove into Kansas City, just as I have thousands of times before--I could drive it with my eyes closed. But the city took on a different light this afternoon. And I'm not sure why.


Life is transitioning, big time.
Transitioning out of college into the "real world" (whatever that means).
Transitioning from irresponsibility to adulthood.
Transitioning from my internship to a full-time position at Hillcrest.
Transitioning living arrangements.
Transitioning mind-sets.
Transitioning from total freedom to commitment.



Everything looks different.
Maybe that's why the city looks different today...because my life within it is beginning to look different.




Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trumped.

I spent 2 hours sitting in court tonight, to stand in front of a judge for approximately 45 seconds.
I had to do this INSTEAD of sitting with my beloved small group for 2 hours.

I needed to be with them.
But I had to be in court.



And now I'm just pissed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday

Late.
Car radio stops working.
Flustered.
Angry.
Overwhelmed.
Text full of discouragement.
Shut door.
Jedidah concerned, calls.
Tears.
Complete small tasks to fight feeling of incompetence.
Find brave face.
Graduation.
Finally alone.
Office finished.
KR.
Snowflakes.
Can't sleep...great.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 1

Overwhelmed.
Fake it 'till you make it.
Office.
Business cards.
"Young grasshopper"
2.5 hour staff meeting...too long, too long.
Conversation over coffee.
Prayed for.
Catching a glimpse of His beauty and love in her eyes.
Tearing up.
Affirmation.
Burritos and freshly baked cookies.
Laughter.
Sonic.
Green and yellow.
Irritability transferred from JB to me.
Picked on.
Loved.
Being off by 1/2 an inch.
Pats on the arm, meaning more than they could know.
Closed eyes.
Good friends.
Looking ahead.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Emerging Adulthood

We're all just taller children, we're all just taller children...

Adulthood is slowly creeping into my life.

There is a job description sitting in front of me -- it's for the Case Manager position at Hillcrest Transitional Housing.
It is MY job description.
Holy. Crap.

It all happened so fast. Within a day I went from a 22 year-old college student with no idea of what the future held, to a full-time employee of Hillcrest. My boss is now my co-worker. I have health insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, an office, and a business card.

Why, hello, adulthood.
You scare me -- but it's a healthy fear...I think.


On another note, I attended a beautiful wedding this weekend and got to spend time with some of my most favorite people. We danced, laughed, drank, enjoyed each other's company, cried with goodbyes, ate gluten-free food, and were merry. It was perfect. And it made me excited for our futures...together.


We're all just taller children, we're all just taller children,
in the end.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peppermint

Sometimes, in the midst of the craziness and pain of life, I am sent small reminders of cherished times. It is in those reminders that I find just a taste of the peace my life is currently missing and am reminded of the joy of which my life is full, even though I'm currently blinded to it.

Those little things are what I cling to during weeks like this one, when life is beating me down.
I will not be overcome, this too shall pass.
My life is full of beauty, even when I can't see it.



So, thanks, Kels...I needed that reminder.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hillcrest

Refuge (n): a place of shelter, protection, safety, or escape.



My mind quickly shorted through its internal dictionary to find an appropriate descriptor.
"This place is a....refuge." I said with hesitation.
The smile that appeared on her face signaled she knew exactly what I was trying to convey.
No surprise...she gets me pretty well.


It's just an garage turned office next to a 120 year old house, but what we're doing here, the experiences I've had here...it's changing me. I never quite know how to respond when asked how my internship here at Hillcrest is going. I could tell you that I have the most incredible boss, hands down. Or how I'm affirmed here. How it makes me feel completely competent. How this office is so often filled with laughter (even if it is because Jed and I are both going crazy). How I look froward to Mondays because I get to spend pretty much all day here, and how I wish it could be like that every day of the week. Or how I look forward to coming here and hate leaving to go to class or Lemon Tree. Or how with every phone call and email I answer, every interaction I have with Jed or a resident, every hour I spend here, my joy is increased. How I never thought I would find something I love this much. I could tell you all those things and more, but at the end of the day, it's still more than that.


I see the face of Jesus here daily.
So beautiful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Waiting for the Dawn

I haven't felt like this in a while...my heart hurts tonight, I'm annoyed with myself, stressed out, on the verge of tears.
It's been a terrible day...week.

It's been terrible, everything seems to be going wrong, and yet, STILL I'm shown beauty. Beauty I cannot ignore. It comes in the form of generous and loving friends, reminders of cherished memories of a summer past, a graduation ceremony for one of our Hillcrest residents, Jacob's Well sermon audio, a boss who lets me know I am valued.

The past two years have been a long road. The past four months have been especially transformative. I have been brought out of the darkness. My heart is being healed. I am learning a posture of gratitude, and to choose that daily. Yes, there are times like this of discouragement, but I will not be overcome...this too shall pass. My joy comes again in the morning.

HE chooses goodness and mercy for me.
HE works all things for my good.
And I'm desperately holding onto that fact.

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Catchy Title, Just Raw Truth.

This is my prayer right now: Lord, direct my heart into your love and into the patience of Christ...

because love is patient and kind, and I am not
because love is not irritable or resentful, and I am both
because love is not proud, and my pride always gets the best of me
because love endures all things, and I'm not sure I can carry on this way any longer
because I struggle to love my family
because my patience with others so quickly wears thin
because you make all things work for my good, in time
because I'm nothing more than a clanging cymbal.





My dear friends, please know that I value you. Forgive my abrasive nature, highly guarded heart, pride. Though often I struggle to express it, I have so much love for you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Are Pilgrims On A Journey

JW Pilgrimage 2010 = success.

Friday night the community of Jacob's Well converged on Youth Front Camp South and spent the following days sun bathing, swimming, canoeing, praying, blob-ing, dancing to sweet 80s music, trying to avoid our tents flooding, and generally being awesome. I loved every minute of it.

Sunday was extra special. After morning worship, we all headed down to the pool, but not to swim; it was baptism/dedication time. Before anyone got in the pool we were asked to sprinkle water on our arms to remember our own baptisms. As I sat with my feet dangling in the pool and watched baby Ollie be dedicated and five friends (including sweet Noah Jolly) be dunked and lifted into new life in Christ, tears welled in my eyes.

I've witnessed many baptisms in my life, but none as moving as those. Something was different. Maybe it was the weekend coming to a close. Maybe it was the people. Maybe it was the realization that a new chapter of life is opening. Maybe it was the weather. I don't know.

But I was moved to tears.
And I won't forget it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Are We Here For?

I came across this on FOUND magazine a few days ago. It was an eye opener, to say the least.
As I struggle to figure out what my life will look like in the next few years, I am consistently being reminded of my purpose...to bring heaven to earth.

My life is planned, not by me though, but by the Maker of the heavens and earth. He watches over my coming and going. He chooses goodness and mercy for me. So what do I have to worry about? Granted, my attitude and decisions do not always reflect this belief, but, I'm trying.

This is all I can do: trust and live my life in a way which helps bring heaven to earth.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Perception

My mind is whirling.
My heart in shambles.
My compass spinning uncontrollably, leaving me directionless.

I currently have a list sitting in front of me, a list of possibilities. A list that over the next five months will evolve, things added and crossed off and, hopefully, be whittled down to one option.
And that will be next.

But I can't help but ask myself, "What if nothing's left? What if I end up with a list of closed doors?" Scary.
Well, I suppose if it comes to that, I will stand in the face of uncertainty and remind myself of this: Maybe I need to lose what I (think I) want to do to find what I'm supposed to do.


It is not, after all, about me...no matter how strongly my doubt holds me.


out of chaos life is being found in You
you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of the dust
you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of us

Sunday, July 18, 2010

$573

Something new is building in my heart tonight.

A crazy idea that has presented itself once, maybe twice, before within the past few weeks, but was shrugged off with no further thought.

But tonight, tonight I let that thought settle. I asked myself, "Why not?" I talk about living big, about going and doing. Well, it's time.
I don't think I'm meant to ignore this.

Yeah, it may be just another crazy idea.
But crazy ideas have changed my life...
...Crazy ideas change the world.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You Make Beautiful Things

The past few days have shown me more beauty than I have known in a long while. It has revealed itself in the simplest and unexpected forms: dinner with friends in a beautiful apartment, helping a dear friend hang pictures in her new apartment, words of affirmation, working at Hillcrest, hugs from two little friends, Jacob's Well, generosity, and the laughter that has found its way back into my daily life.

I thank God the scales have been pealed back and I finally see the tremendous beauty of my life.




you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of the dust
you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of us

Monday, June 21, 2010

Take It From Me

The humidity clung to me as we strolled through the summer night, no destination in mind, walking as far as the conversation would take us. There are few things that can top a long walk and good conversation with a dear friend.

Most of our conversation centered around relationship. Such a loaded subject. I wish I could articulate all the beauty of our conversation. Here is just a tidbit...

Within the conversation I was reminded of a line from The Weepies song "Take It From Me": Funny how it's hard to take a love with no sting. Oh, so true. It's easy to love people surface level, always guarded in anticipation of disappointment. Far more difficult is accepting a love with no sting----a love that requires vulnerability, trust, respect, no judgement, genuineness. It says to the other person, "I see your immense worth. And I will fight for it, and you."
Yes, that is a bit intimidating.

But, oh, what a beautiful thing.




I pray we be genuine with one another.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Produce, Pageants, and Tow Trucks

Truth be told, I was a slightly odd child. Painfully shy, I was destined to be a loner. My mom recalls most of my free time spent held up in some kind of make-shift fort with my brigade of stuffed animals, always telling stories. Stories about far away adventures, stories comprised of bits and pieces of memories woven together, stories about growing up, stories that made no sense at all to anyone but me. Naturally, my mother recognized my love for stories and highly encouraged reading; but I never loved reading...my imagination was too big for books. I was the author of my own stories, as I still am. This story, however, is much larger than ever before.

I still love stories, fiction or nonfiction. I especially love hearing people's stories. Stories connect us at a very basic human level because, well, we all have one. For the past few years, I have been uncertain what kind of story I am in. So many people are so focused on the big story: What are you going to do with your life? Where will you be in 10 years? When are you getting married? Etc, etc, etc. The answer: I have no clue. Great stories pay close attention to detail, to the smaller stories within the story. And for now, that is what I'm doing...focusing on the smaller stories. Stories of summer bucket lists, of having my car break down in the middle of nowhere, of friends who are closer than family (who will rescue you when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere). Yes, the little stories which define the larger one...which define me.

Along with my shift in focus, my understanding of how stories work is growing. Currently, I am reading Donald Miller's New book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (which I highly recommend). He observes that, most often, our favorite stories are those laden with conflict. As he works at interpreting the story of his life, he observes,

"I wanted it to be an easy story. But nobody really remembers easy stories. Characters have to face their greatest fears with courage. That's what makes a story good. If you think about the stories you like most, they probably have lots of conflict. There is probably death at stake, inner death or actual death, you know. These polar charges, these happy and sad things in life, are like colors that God uses to draw the world."

...I am working on coming into a new sense of appreciation for the conflicts in my story. So much of my life has been spent running from the kind of conflict that could make me into a great character with a great story. It's a struggle to believe that my struggles can produce the same kind of beauty and joy as those of characters in films, but it's a struggle worth tackling.

Discovering I don't know what story I am living is turning into a beautiful, truth-filled journey of healing and self-discovery. I am finding my story is one filled with character-building conflict, love, and beautiful people, among other things. And I look forward with great hope and anticipation.


This story is going to be awesome.
Correction, it is awesome.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Home

I recently watched the movie Away We Go (see trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1176740). It is a beautiful and hilarious story about a young couple expecting their first child who travel around the U.S. in search of the perfect place to plant roots and start their family. Through numerous adventures with family members and friends they finally begin to define "home" in their own terms. Not only is it an awesome film, I totally related to it (minus the whole expecting a child part).

At this point in my life, home is redefined almost daily. Home is a small town in Southern Illinois. It's a house on E. 68th Street in Louisiana. It's a school perched atop a hill. My life has taught me this: home is not one single place; home is where the heart is (as cliche as that phrase is). As I go about my adventures, I leave behind a piece of my heart. As my beloved friends go out and change the world, pieces of my heart go with them also. And each place which holds a piece of my heart becomes home.

For a long time my heart felt unrest because it longed for a home it couldn't find. Some people have one home, with roots as deep as the oak tree in the front yard of my parent's house. The more think about this concept, the more clearly I understand that it is not for me. Yes, sometimes I wish my family was as close-knit and around to show up in mass for everything like the Cottons. Yes, there are days I crave a home-cooked meal and a place on the couch. But then I remember how blessed I am; I have homes all across the United States, across the world.

"Where we love is home—home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

- Oliver Wendell Holmes



My life is not ordinary, neither is my home.
And I hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Polaroids

You don't always get what you expect out of life; sometimes it throws you a curve ball. And when that happens, you just have to step out of the box for a moment, get your mind right, and hit the next pitch. Because in this game, the ones you miss are just as important as the ones you hit.

I'm learning a lot these days, a lot about what matters in life. I will spare you all the cliche sayings, even though I am finally finding truth in some of them. Basically, I have learned that life is about choices. And I am choosing to stay positive and love the life I'm living.

Life is not about how many years it takes you to graduate from college or how much money you make or even knowing where tomorrow will find you. It's about the smile on my favorite 3 year old's face when I sit with her on the steps because she is too overwhelmed to go into a room full of people. It's about climbing trees with my favorite curly-haired ginger. It's about meeting new people and trying new things. It's about bucket lists. It's about really loving people. It's about surrounding yourself with people who make you laugh, and laugh hard. It's about making mistakes and friends taking care of one another. It's about adventure and letting go of inhibitions.

Have I been hurt and disappointed? Yes.
Do I have huge obstacles to overcome? Yes.
But truly living means not allowing my pain to dictate my behavior.

I have a great life. I've had a lot of struggles, but for every moment of struggle I have two filled with joy. I have family that stretches past the bonds of DNA. I have friends who make me laugh hard and often. I am loved well beyond what I deserve.

I'm taking it one day at a time because tomorrow will worry about itself.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WOF

The wine flowed, the movie rolled, and gut-wrenching laughter filled the apartment.

Each moment like this one simultaneously heals my heart and breaks it all over again.

The past three days have turned my world upside down, making me question everything and hang my head in shame. I laugh it off with a delicate balance of bitterness and sarcasm, but the truth is still too hard to bare.

I am so proud of the people in my life, and wish them nothing but the best as they close this chapter of their lives and begin the next one. They will go out and do great things in the world like start a women's shelter in a border town, love people in Haiti, teach in Ecuador, use the language they love to serve, or nurse the patients of NKC Hospital. I'm happy for them.

As for me, I'll be here, struggling to finish reading this chapter.
Always have been a slow reader...

Monday, May 10, 2010

War and Hymnody

As we all nervously flipped through our 8 page study guide, the discussion turned to the effects of the 1940s on American hymnody. (Don't worry, I will spare you all the boring details about Louis F. Benson and ecumenical use.) I sat, quietly scribbling notes thinking about how it will be a complete miracle if I pass this final when her words pulled me back to reality.

There have been very few years in my lifetime that the U.S. has not been at war with someone.
We don't need to get into my views on war or anything of that sort, but I would like to share with you my reaction to this statement:
....How sad.
Bare with me for a just a moment as I share a bit of Christian hymnody with you....
Back to the effects of the 1940s on American hymnody: There was a shift in the 1940s American hymnody because of one thing------war. On the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It was then that the shift in American hymnody took place; American hymn writers began asking themselves how the U.S., the so-called "Christian nation" could commit such an atrocity.
We should be asking ourselves that today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the good life

talking about Outward Bound
laughing really hard
window seats at Panera with a curly-haired blonde and a hilarious nursing student
2 hours of ridiculous tennis
a long walk in perfect weather
swings
escape plan
stretching out
QT
late night adventures
sitting by the river
old country music
breakfast with good friends
a long walk in the rain with a new friend






I wish my life were like the past day and a half more often.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Say Goodnight Grace

It's one of those nights...the paper is only half written, The Weepies are on, the cool air is flowing through my open window, and I find myself unable to focus, drifting off into thought.

The day's conversations roll through my head, specifically one with my little sister. We don't talk often and when we do it is usually about trivial things, but tonight was different. She wasn't her normal sassy, 16-year-old self, but rather a little sister deeply longing for real relationship with her distant big sister. Her honesty and grace humbled me and our conversation brought me to tears.

Four years ago, I was so incredibly relieved to finally get away from home that I neglected to realize who I was leaving behind. Nicholas and Tori were 10 and 12 when I moved away, just little kids. They are so different now, and I missed all of that; and while they don't hold anything against me, I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully forgive myself for severely neglecting the privilege of being their big sister. But the beauty of life is second chances. I will not let her fear of me stepping out of the big sister role actualize; I'm going to be the big sister they both deserve.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Water Tower

The cool air rushed through my hair as the car zoomed along the road which seemingly led nowhere. Windows down, music blasting, both occupying the same space and yet left to our own thoughts. The excitement of not knowing our destination pulsed through my body and for the first time in days, I felt alive. In that moment, I did not care one bit where we were going, only that it was away from where I had been.

Our drive continued a long while until things became strangely familiar to me; childhood memories came flooding back and in an instant, I knew exactly where we were. I exited the car and stood in awe of the structure towering over me.

My legs propelled me up the hundreds of stairs just as they had when I was younger. The view from the top was just as breath taking as ever, maybe even more now as my appreciation for nature increases with age. For a few moments I stood atop the tower, not worrying about things to come or the disparity of my present situation, but reminiscing about beloved childhood memories when my family surrounded me on that very tower and the laughter of my cousins and I filled the air, carrying over the vast horizon.

Funny how the oddest of places can bring a bit of healing...


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scrupulously

My tongue stumbled over the syllables like a toddler learning to walk stumbles over her feet. My checks flushed with the heat of embarrassment and I felt the tears begin to form. I took a deep breath and started over, failing yet again. Normally I would have laughed it off, but today had already been too much. Today was full of incredibly difficult realizations, huge disappointments, and proved once and for all that I can no longer ignore the full reality of my situation. The sting of failure is setting in, and it is heartbreaking.

I'm tired--I'm tired of not having the time, the money, the solutions. I am completely overwhelmed and just want to run away. But running is not an option, so I wake up every morning, put on my big girl pants, and attempt my best "I'm doing great" face. But tonight, several times, I lost my composure. And I am trying to be okay with that fact...I need to allow myself to feel. The world is not going to end, but it sure feels that way right now.

Eventually, I correctly pronounced the word and the evening turned out quite lovely. Immersed in an atmosphere of love, affirmation, excitement, and support I found comfort and relief for a few brief hours. I am currently trying to cling to that feeling for as long as possible, but the weight is slowly returning and the tears well up once again.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eveningland

The curly red hair and blond pony tail in front of me bob along to the beat of the newest song that sounds like all the rest they play on the radio these days. But I sit quietly in the backseat with the weight of the world on my shoulders (my world at least). The water beneath us is dark as pavement and its glassy surface mimics the skyline above. My eyes follow the street lights that line the river's edge, leading off to the distance.

My thoughts wonder from the fights of this afternoon and pain and worry to the role this city has played in my life the past 3 1/2 years. The sidewalks of Westport have felt the weight of my steps, heavy as I walked out anger, frustration, pain, confusion. There is a table by the window in the corner of Broadway Cafe that has held me for many a Saturday afternoon. Prospero's Book Store taught me the art of bartering. The parks in which I, and hundreds of others, fought for the beautiful children of northern Uganda. I have run into this city, seeking refuge, solitude, excitement and run from this city, desperately seeking adventure and freedom.

Not so long ago, this skyline held my future and before the year's end, it will hold part of my past.
And I'm going to miss the glow of the Western Auto sign.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Walls

"...Why didn't you tell us?"
Even over the phone I can hear the pain in her voice. And for the first time in my life, I didn't make up an excuse. Instead, I stood silent, in the middle of the juice aisle of Target, and fought back tears.



Keep her out.
Let her see.

Which will hurt her more?
I've never been able to decide, so I keep her out...just like everyone else.


This brick wall is stronger than even I thought.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Writer's Block

I've been struggling to write for over a week. Normally the words flow easily, but now...now the blinking cursor or the tapping pen taunts me.

Writing is a release. It's how I cope, how I deal with and work through things. Communication has never been my strong suit...I'm not good at expressing myself to others, so I write. I write until the words no longer form coherent sentences, until tears crashing onto the pages make words bleed together, until the journal gets thrown across the room in anger or frustration. I write because I don't know what else to do.


And right now, I can't.
What does that leave me?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ready or Not

I may have made a big decision last night.

Just saying that brings a flood of emotions.


I over-think things.
Over-thinking often leads to talking myself out of things.
Then I miss out.
I'm not okay with that.
I promised myself last August I would stop doing that exact thing.

What I don't know:
-what it will look like
-how long I would end up staying
-logistics
-if I am ready
-whether or not I will begin that adventure alone
-if I'm making the right decision
...among other things I can't yet articulate.

What I do know:
-I want to be there.


I keep telling myself I'm not ready...

...but who says I have to be?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sparrow Heart

A sparrow always comes home...just as our hearts are always pulled back to those in who they once found comfort, no matter how great the past pain.

Shared experiences mold and shape us, all the while connecting our hearts with an invisible string so strong even the sharpest scissors could not cut.
{Trust me, I have tried.}
We run away, fight, inflict pain, question worth, and always end up in the same spot.
But we always try again; something brings us back.
Sometimes I wonder why we bother.
But when I look her in the eyes, I understand.
Here's to letting go, laughter, and the struggle to lvoe.
Together.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

all who are thirsty

The faint glow of the street lights shone through the stain glass windows as the sweet sound of a few hundred voices rand through the sanctuary. Eyes closed, I let out a sigh of relief. In that moment, my heart is content.


Jacob's Well is truly a beautiful community. My return tonight after a short stint away reaffirmed its importance in my life. Words continually fall short of describing what the Jacob's Well community means to me, how they helped pick up the shattered bits of faith left in my life and began to mend and nurture them three and a half years ago. What a beautiful example of the body of Christ.

I needed to be there tonight.
To be reminded.
To be refreshed.

"Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about tomorrow; one day at a time is enough. Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful when tomorrow comes to ask Him to take it also."
--Francis Ridley Havergal
Blessed when your loved ones
Are the ones who hurt you most
Blessed when you lose your
Own identity
Then blessed when you find it
And it has been redeemed
Blessed when you see what
Your friends can never be
Blessed with your eyes closed
Then blessed you see me

Thursday, January 7, 2010

...

I'm in a weird place right now. So much is going on in my head and heart, swirling around like the snow drifts outside my window.

My instinct is to get in my car and drive, compass pointed south. Yet strangely enough, something keeps me here tonight.



The one thing I'm certain of right now: I miss the warm Arizona sun.
 
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