Thursday, December 23, 2010

Walking with God

-I'm working on reading that book by John Eldredge (thanks, $5 Christian book outlet!), and I came across this as I was reading this morning @ IHOP, and I wanted to share, because I can only star and circle it so much. I'll get a running start into it:

John is a fisherman, and tells a story about wanting to go fish on some creek area he'd not fished before, and to get there, he had to go along the Bear River.

My plan was to hike up the Bear to the confluence and begin my explorations from there. But the canyon of the Bear caught me by surprise. It's beautiful down in there. The river flows through a forest of evergreens, some of them leaning way out over the water so that the sunlight comes through here and there, splashing the river with light and shade. The river separates now and then into braids and then rejoins itself.

Now, it wasn't my plan to fish the Bear---I was after the untouched waters of the creek. But when I reached the bottom of the canyon and started upriver, I was immediately met with a handsome run of clear green water just begging for a dry fly. It was too inviting. I caught a lovely thirteen-inch rainbow on my first cast and made a change of plans. I would fish the Bear as I hiked ---not too seriously, because the creek was my destination---but enough to sample the most alluring runs.

The Bear proved to be the treat of the day. By the time I reached the creek, I'd caught a half-dozen fish without much effort. And now that I'd reached my goal, it became obvious that the creek was unfishable. It plunges off a geologic shelf for a mile or so, cascading down with far too much speed to make for good fishing. I was disappointed. The creek was the point; the river had only been tossed in as a bonus. Or so I thought.

Then I remembered something that God has been teaching me this summer---it's not what he isn't giving but what he is giving. We can get so locked onto what we don't have, what we think we want or need, that we miss the gifts God is giving.

Really, though the river had proved to be everything I hoped the creek would be---solitude, beauty, wild fish on a dry fly--I sulked halfway back to the car because I didn't get my creek.

So, another reminder to get over yourself, and see what God is giving you now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


For not getting to attend the White Elephant party last night, I had a pretty awesome night @ work---one of the best in a long while. I also got an unexpected 'Christmas hug' :).

So I'm having a running conversation, and it makes me uncomfortable. I get the info from one point of view, and try to figure how what is actually real, and what is seen through this person's eyes that wasn't necessarily intended that way. I have one foot in the stirrups and have to physically keep myself from getting up on my high horse :), because at the bedrock, I can see reflections of myself in the words, and it makes me uncomfortable. I wonder if this conversation is for me, or for them---they say you know that you KNOW something when you have to teach/explain it to another...

Friday, December 17, 2010

OBVIOUSLY, I can't sleep... so please bear with this entry, and hopefully it will make some sense without rambling too much (like this title)...

I only heard snippets of a conversation tonight, about a cross. I had gotten an email from church today that had a similar theme, asking what one word you thought of when you thought of the cross.

Just one?

I thought of a verse...

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

I went back and looked @ Vintage Jesus, where they talk about how crucifiction was a horrible, shameful, yet common thing (and if you don't believe me, go watch Passion of the Christ--that's just a movie, and I had to completely stop watching the movie on 2 occasions because I was crying so hard that my nose got stuffed up and I couldn't breathe), yet crosses have become a big "Christian" symbol---in the book they compare them to wearing electric chairs around your neck, or hanging a dirty needle or used condom on your wall.

I think symbols can be good, so long as we REMEMBER what they STAND FOR. If you just want something pretty to look at, go get a Thomas Kinkaide to hang on your wall to jump-start your warm-n-fuzzies...

And another thing....

So there was this horrible death, where Jesus, who was sinless/blameless/spotless, took on ALL the sins of everyone that will ever exist ( for  you, me, your great-great-great grandma, my grandkids, Abraham Lincoln, Hitler, the lady across the street, the gas station attendant, etc), and died, paying the price for all our junk with His life....


He rose from the grave 3 days after his death, and is alive!!!

(and THAT just reminded me of something else I'd like to write, about English tenses of things, but I think I need to do some more research and get some sleep, as it's closing in on 4 am!) Good night!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I have a deep love for Thursdays. I was born on a Thursday (but didn't know that for a LONG time). My love of Thursdays became evident in college, as it was the night of the BSU's 7:10 worship service. It was guaranteed a time of God, learning, and fellowship that would often last into Friday, and began the relaxation that only a weekend can bring.

Thursdays hold the promise of good things yet to come; an end to the work week is now in sight...

Now that I'm here, Thursdays are small-group night and there is music and conversation and community and food!

And even though I don't work a normal workweek, I still try to set aside Thursdays, as they hold an allure over me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I fell asleep, and when I woke up it was...12:45.


I tried to focus and go back to sleep, then gave it up.

Little did I know, better things were ahead.

I checked the online weather, then went to the front door.

Looking out, I saw a fresh,new blanket of whiteness in the translucent light that accompanies snowfall.

I made the turn to come back to my nice, warm bed...

then kept turning

and put on my shoes

and grabbed my scarf and coat

and went outside.

Life was hushed

as I stood ankle-deep and still.

Steady flecks of snow came,

the world so silent I could hear it fall though the tree's bare branches.

An other-worldly light, all around, as my eyes couldn't see enough

And there was a moment...


Last Friday I ended up @ Half-Price Books, and among those I got were "Looking For God: an unexpected journey through tattoos, tofu and pronouns" by Nancy Ortberg. It's basically about taking God out of that box we attempt to place Him in our minds, and allowing Him to invade and pervade every moment of our lives.

So far, my favorite chapter is #3 - Jello. Here's some chewy stuff:

Molds are fine for Jello.
But not for people.

What is it about so much of the Christian religion that insists that people be all alike?why do i so often feel as if they have their mold and they want me to fit into it? Do we somehow feel safter when others are just like us?

Sometimes when I am giving a talk, I ask people to look quickly at the person on their left, then the person on their right. I say,"Do either of these people look anything like you?" Of course the answer is no. "Then why," I ask,"do you look to those people to try to figure out who you are supposed to be?"

But we all do it. And when we do, we compare the life of God right out of us.

Comparison is so destructive. It erodes our love for other people and causes us to shun the gifts that God has given us. Like Peter, it keeps asking,"Well, what about him? What about her?" It keeps our eyes darting around the room, sizing people up, and holding up placards with numbers on them. It robs us of our own stories and gifts from God, all because we like someone else's better.

Comparison becomes a faulty scale on which we place ourselves,waiting to see how we balance out with the people on the other side.Comparison leaves us jealous and critical and insecure. It can propel us into unhealthy competition and relentless people-pleasing. God wants us free from that.

Part of what it means to be created in the image of God is that each person has his or her story, giftedness, and calling. I cannot find mine by looking at yours. Your story may inspire me or warn me, but I should never use it to determine my own.

The gospel frees us from comparison, making it possible to admire other people's gifts and be grateful for their contributions to the Kingdom. In Christ, there is no need for Jello molds or rigid restraints. We are called to delight in the diversity that reflects the many facets of God and sheds light on what it truly means to be created in His image.

(I read that @ work)
and then as I was driving home, I was listening to my ipod function on my phone, and had gotten this song of Matt Maher's from a great friend awhile ago (thanks Jeff!), and at that time just really HEARD THE WORDS, so much so I listened to it about 6 times in a row..

LETTING GO - Matt Maher

I stand in awe of You
And everything You've done for me
You speak Your words into my life
And where You are is where I wanna be

I stand before You, Lord
Humbled by the love You give away
A widow's mite, my will and pride
It's all I have to offer anyway

I'm holding onto Your love
I'm letting go of myself
I'll say so long to everything else

I stand in awe of You
And everything You've done for me
You speak Your words into my life
And where You are is where I wanna be

I stand before You, Lord
Humbled by the love You give away
A widow's mite, my will and pride
It's all I have to offer anyway

I'm holding onto Your love
I'm letting go of myself
I'm holding onto Your love
I'm letting go of myself
I'll say so long to everything else

I just wanna be in Your arms
I just wanna be in Your arms
Moving ever closer to Your heart
To Your heart

I just wanna be in Your arms
I just wanna be in Your arms
Moving ever closer to Your heart
To Your heart

I just wanna be in Your arms
I just wanna be in Your arms
Moving ever closer to Your heart
To Your heart


Monday, December 13, 2010

I just wanted to say

...that I love God.

I really do.

I love that He knows more than me, and has my best interests in mind, even if it's uncomfortable for me at the present moment.

I love that He'll put things in my path, over and over, until I get the hint.

I love that He's got the ultimate sense of humor, and enjoying a laugh together...

I love that I can yell at Him, and cry to Him, and be the most vulnerable self I have, and He already knows it all, and loves me, period.

I love that He's faithful and trustworthy, and unchanging, and He rejoices over me with singing, and has the ability to quiet me through, just with His love. (Zeph. 3:17)

He is ALWAYS on time - He is never early and is never late.

(That's all for now)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow (For Lacy,)

in an attempt to balance out this blog and put some non-emo dispair in here...

Ah, snow! I keep going to the front door to get an update on the progress. Just THINK of how many snowflakes must fall for even just a dusting of snow, let alone inches! It's an amazing thing.

One of my favorite things of snow is how snow can make even the darkest night take on a translucent quality, with an ethereal light. Falling snow also seems to insulate, so that noises just aren't their normal sounding, and the quiet envelopes the listener.

This song was sung by the choir when I was in HS (I didn't sing it), but I always think of it when it snows...

Still, Still, Still

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
(for listening)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dear God,

I don't understand. All I see are the walls on either side, and the past. I am only able to see a step at a time. Occasionally I see glimpses of movement out of the corners of my eyes - I wonder if it's You, or something that will become part of my path. I don't understand, and some times that can be overwhelming. Yet I know to the marrow of my bones that You are there, and are in control, and have a plan that is especially for me, and although I often wonder and wish about the paths of others, for the thought and trust of You do I move ever forward - sometimes running, sometimes tiptoe-ing, sometimes kicking/screaming/throwing a fit, but forward.

I believe; help my unbelief!
Mark 9:24

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I was SOO excited about the prospect of a stretch of days off, and was REALLY feeling compelled to make an effort to spend time with people and hang out during this time. I invited a string of people to go with me for Christmas shopping tomorrow, and EVERY ONE SAID NO.

(that sucks the spirit right out of you)

Small group was great tonight ---good conversation and togetherness. I'm very sad I won't get to attend the Christmas get-together. Just another way for work to jack up my attempts at a life here. I should've remembered---ANY TIME I'm free and want to hang out, everyone's busy, but the MOMENT I have plans, THATS when people ask and try to include me...

I had a great talk with a good man. I ended up telling him that from what I know of his actions in his current difficult situation, that he gives me hope for the kind of man I want in marriage, that they DO exist. What an excellent example and reminder, and a generally nice guy. There was an ease to the conversation, and it flowed amazingly smooth across topics---just a pleasure!

And then I felt the love as our whole dinner seating arrangement got upset because
"but I WANTED to sit by REGAN!", and I got to be silly and have fun conversation on my end of the booth, as I sat way too close to people and our lower extremities were all touching. (And I might have a carful the next time I go visit the Cross family?)

So thanks for the love, even if none of you will spend tomorrow day with me...

( jerks -----:) )

Sunday, December 5, 2010


So today I had plucked enough courage to attempt to sing @ church again. I wasn't feeling well, and I REALLY don't like singing in front of people, or being the center of attention, in general. I think part of me thinks that if people look long enough, they will see all my flaws through my armor. Also, singing for me is a really personal, vulnerable thing, but people had been bringing it up, asking when I would do it again, and I was reminded that it wasn't about me.

I got up there, trying to get as comfortable as I could with my general anxiety, and with being under the weather, I had part of a cough drop in my mouth while trying to sing. At the end of the first song, 4 teenagers I like are all laughing and trying to get my attention - to tell me that the cough drop in my mouth looks like chewing tobacco, and I realize that they are laughing at me as I'm up trying to do this incredibly hard thing, and I just want to run away...

(And as much as think astrological signs are crap, I do seem to identify with the crab---I have a seemingly even-keeled/tough exterior, but have the softest emotional underbelly)

God was able to get me through the rest of the service.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

HiberNation, Day #2

So it's the 1st proper snow since I've been in Indiana, and I'm spending it under my mass of blankets, clutching the half-consumed bottle of orange juice. The sickness has moved around; not so much in my sinuses and throat but trying to congest up my head and chest.

(Amazingly, through all this, I feel half-way decent, and look unrealistically cute).

Other highlights for this week include being mistakenly thought of as looking younger (in a good sense) by a co-worker; Thursday night; and running into a new friend while shopping @ walmart.

I'm feeling like a bum, just laying around, but am hoping that it will be worth it if I can feel better soon. It's already December 4th?!? I need to get on buying presents...