"in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed..."
((God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 22))

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool."
((isaiah 1.18))

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
(luke 2)

The LORD saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak...And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
(isaiah 59)

And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

((luke 4))

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

(isaiah 53)

that's what christmas is all about. the cross and ressurrection too of course! but these are the passages i have been drawn too. i've been meditating often this holiday season on the mystery and truth that Jesus is mine. i have the greatest treasure! a treasure so grand, vast, majestic; my mind cannot begin to grasp its worth. Jesus. He is my all in all. my Redeemer, He who paid the debt i earned & my Ransom. my Messiah. He who sets me free! Who breaks my bonds apart again and again. my Healer. my Wonderful Counselor and Comfort. my Compassionate High Priest, who intercedes before the throne of grace. my Joy. the Lover of my soul, who woos me back when i wander. Faithful One, Promise-keeper.

i have ALL i need! i don't always believe this <<. i think that i lack. i forget to find my satisfaction in Him. i feel needs real and unreal, & i don't run to Him to be the source or provide or show me where that need is uneeded or met. i am faithless. but, HE is not. He always meets me, saves me, frees me with love. He is my source for all delight!! even His amazingly good gifts are meant to point me back to the One who is better than anything and anyone earthly. My God embodies goodness.

oh to believe this more fully!


i love this crazy life

joy in the little things...just wanted another spot of sunshine. there are so many little ways God shows His unmerited love and favor to me. and as mum says, "you have more favorites than any other girl in the world." it's true! how can i not when so much of life has hidden treasures? six year olds, we are just so easily amused... ;)

FAMiLY. ooohh how i adore them! crazy adhd artistic blunt honest sarcastic goofy loving got-your-back loyal hilarious. they are the bestest people i know.

in christ alone. k hymns in general. well some hymns in general...yeah.

eric church's voice. idk why, i have this thing for voices...certain ones i fall in love with and i can't help it. even if they're not the best.

eire. and all things irishness, so grateful one-eighth of my blood is irish...we're proud stubborn people, but Jesus still loves us.

the hours right before sunset, when everything is bathed in golden shadow.

car dancing/singing at the top of my lungs with bre.

Philippians. oh make me a soul as content, joyful and satisfied in YOU alone as paul, O Lord.

sharpies. all kinds.

a green and yellow football jersey. superbowl mvp, sparkly #12, yeah that'd be aaron rodgers...we wear the same clothes on sunday afternoons. ;)

nailpolish. not a fan of how it feels on my fingers. but how fun is it to paint colour on yourself?!

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death! come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave, Christ is risen from the dead, we are one with Him again!"

mhhmm. thank you Jesus that there will always be beauty in life. may i always see Your goodness no matter how rough the road You lead me on.


praying out loud.

Hi Father,
thank you for revealing frailty in me. on a level i have never allowed you to touch. thank you for crushing me, to reveal a fragrance i did not know You had built in me. thank you for emotional vulnerability. Lord i hate that concept. the very words make me tense, but you are changing that. ha, ha-as i am powerless to control these feelings, powerless to stop them. i could suck it up and pretend. thank you that You don't want me to! Thank you that You understand and have created me in Your image. YOU have emotions Lord, therefore i must. You are not frail in Yours-but i am human. i am tempted to despise myself, to harden my heart, to fake it. i'm tempted to pretend it is godly self-control to lock this empty ache inside, to not allow tears when i feel ripping pain deeper than any i have experienced. to act as if the void in my chest isn't pressing against my sternum some days with such force i'm surprised it hasn't cracked. Lord you are showing me you don't want self control. you want me. all of me. you want venerability. you want me to feel. to stay soft. to be weak. to admit i have pain, and be biblical. to be like david, who knew that God's truths do not always stop the pain or take it away, but give a reason to live through it. to rejoice in truth when you don't see it!

i can be human, and not sin. i am learning that my attempts to fortify my heart and deny pain in the name of "joy" and "self control" is running. is an attempt to morphine myself out of this place where i feel pathetic. those are sins! of pride, control, distrusting you and watching my own back. allowing myself to feel, is humility. allowing myself to break, is trusting You. NOT attempting to put myself back together, fix it or stop the breaking, is admitting my utter dependence on You. trust. is love. loving you in a new way that makes noo sense to me...how You could view this as good is beyond me. How you could love a wreck, is amazing. How it is that I am more wrecked then i have been, but i don't feel the old woundedness. How i could be so hurt by you when i thought i was prepared is revealing.

but somehow, i KNOW. i know i am where you want me most when i am sobbing on my knees and giving you the pain, asking you to take the missingness; and believing You've got an astounding dawn with lots of colour just waiting for me to fly to someday. when we are through this. How is it, that in pain, for the first time since i was 16, i am beginning to feel whole? we are going to be tighter than ever as a result of this. what a strange gift.
be still my soul, and see what a loving generous Father is yours!!

genesis 22

God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you." And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba..."

I've always loved this story, but is especially dear to me these days. Abraham and Hannah, I wish I could meet them for coffee! I feel I understand them somewhat better these days. My circumstances are VASTLY different!! But. I relate. To Hannah, in her barrenness. Like her, there are things I long for that God has not seen fit to answer. Yet I have faith--must have faith--that He will. I must take my burdens, cast them, and leave with joy that He hears me. Every morning. Yet in another circumstance, I am like her in the surrender of the very thing she prayed to receive. There was an area God saw fit to answer. I've been unsure whether it was mine to have or mine to give. His answer has been to give. There is a relief in letting go, but also a pain. A natural ripping of my heart. I doubt Hannah felt nothing as she left her son year after year with Eli. I cling to the verse where God gave Hannah 5 more children. After she gave Him the one, the first and seemingly only one, she had. That resonates with me...my God is generous!!

I relate to Abraham, as I've found myself in the position of offering something sacrificial. I've been here before. Only it is much harder than it has ever been. This is my Isaac. The adjectives "love" and "only" are more profound in v.2 than ever before. I know them well.

Abraham, how I want to learn from you. He was listening for the Lord's voice. He obeyed immediately, without questioning. He had faith that God would restore Isaac to him. God would keep His promise. BUT. Abraham did not see how. Maybe he thought Sarah would get pregnant again, or God would resurrect Issac, or Isaac would not be burned by the fire. Nobody knows what thoughts went through his mind...nobody knows if he had only joy & trust, or if it was a battle. nobody knows if he felt sick or had to shut off his emotions as he took that knife in his hand. Did he weep tears of joy and relief? Did he fall on his face when the angel appeared? we don't know. but we do know he was human. imperfect. made in the image of God, with the frailty of humanity and emotions just like us.
i forget this.
i forget that abraham was not always a man of faith and power. i forget that he felt. he obeyed with trust. but he did not see the ending. indeed, the Lord's generous promise that a descendant of his would bless the entire world? abraham died long before that came true. it was over 400 years later!

Lord, give me this kind of trust.



i want to be like hannah from 1 samuel.
she was honest. she poured out her heart to the Lord. with all the emotions she felt. she didn't minimize the negative effect/appearance of her circumstances, she didn't try to put on a brave face, she didn't say "i know i shouldn't but i feel this way...". she just was transparent, honest, feeling, human. "She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly." (1.10)

she was transparent with others. when eli rebukes her for what he assumes as drunkenness, she doesn't ignore him. doesn't say "i'm not drunk just praying" or "i'm fine". she doesn't pretend everything's alright. "But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation." (v15-16)

she casts her cares on God. and she leaves them there. she doesn't try to fix herself. she says alright Lord, here is my heart,here are my desires, You have them. then she seems to walk away unburdened and rejoicing in her God. "Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad." (18)

she prayed with open hands. granted, her desire was just to have a child. she probably didn't have to keep him in order for the social stigma of "barren woman" to be removed. but in a time where women's lives were only valued for work and pleasing their husbands, having a child to raise seems like it would be something to look forward to. a task to take pride in when your worth was considered less than a man's. then take into account natural maternal instinct and love for your own...therefore i believe hannah's vow shows an open hand. willingness to give God everything. "And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord." (26-28)

^^^none of those things could be said about me. not consistently. by the gracious work of God, i can say i have experianced each one. there have been times i've walked away off the dock gloriously free! feeling the joy of a God who takes detailed care of me. Who is big enough to deal with my seemingly intense issues. (that really aren't) but? far too often i walk away still thinking. still carrying too much on my tiny shoulders, still playing God. or i take them back, one by one throughout the day.

{{Change me, Lord! i cannot keep this up. i am too tired to walk, i stagger under burdens i was never intended to hold. take them. take my fears, doubts, practical plans to fulfill my needs. take the burdens i carry for others, the desires to heal, cleanse, redeem, cause fruit to come forth. ONLY YOU can do those works! and You cannot use me as a tool, when i am trying to be the One working. forgive my arrogance. Jesus, breathe grace on me. breathe rest, restore me to joy, freedom, total reliance upon You. Your shoulders are broad, and Your heart is loving.
thank you.}}


thank you, matt redman for loving Jesus and writing about it

*confession: i adore matt redman. i just feel like he gets it. gets it as in, i feel like he loves Jesus above all. i feel like that has been tested by fire, and he writes out of his heart. doesn't mean i like all of his songs. & dang his old stuff is musically cheesy! but over the years God has used his songs to nail me. comfort me. and wage war. a matt throwback:

"You made me fruitful in the land of my suffering Father,
You made me hopeful in a place of no hope,
poured oil of gladness on the wounds of my struggling
and You poured oil of healing on the depths of my soul.
When i needed a savior, You were there..."
(when i needed a savior)

and now tonight, i'm singing this truth to myself:

"kneeling on this battle ground
seeing just how much You've done
knowing every victory is Your power in us
scars and struggles on the way
but with joy our hearts can say
NEVER ONCE did we EVER walk alone
carried by Your constant grace
held within Your perfect peace
never once, did we ever walk alone
never once, did you leave us on our own
you are faithful, God you are faithful..."
(never once)
thank you, Jesus. for music. thank you for never abandoning me. for always loving. for forgiveness! what a blessed thing to be forgiven.


beloved. HE is jealous for (me)

I am my Beloved's, and He is mine.

My God is jealous for me.

He wants me. Not just my intellect, not my head, not just my emotions or heart. All of the above, everything, will-feelings-self. the whole ALL of me. He doesn't have any need of me. He doesn't have to have me. I need Him, desperately; yet I try to run. I don't always want Him. I need Him more than I need anything else, but my desire for Him is faithless and changing as the tides. But He? He wants me. He doesn't need me. His desire for me is faithful, steady. Jealous. He will have me, and He will let nothing separate us.


and today, oh HOW He loves me! it's incredible that God will meet just with me. i worship a God who meets with a young girl in her bedroom on her face. no fanfare, no human mediator. no distractions, just my God and i. He wanted to set me free. to tell me He approves of me. i am his daughter, his workmanship. words fail to express just how overwhelming, intense, insane to my logic His love is for me. there is NO reason HE should care for me!!!! but He does! i read the greatest surety of this Love, the story of His death & resurrection for me and then a spurgeon sermon titled "Oh, How He Loves" and the following words from it do some justice to the thoughts of my undeserving overwhelmed little heart:

"Many days have passed since then, and I asked you now to recollect what Christ has done to us since we first trusted in him. Has his love for you cooled in the slightest degree? We have all of us tried that love by our wondering and waywardness, but we have not quenched it, and its fire still burns just as vehemently as at the first. We have, sometimes, fallen so low that our hearts have been like adamant, incapable of emotion; yet Jesus has loved us all the while, and softened our hard hearts as the glorious sun melts the icebergs of the sea. We were like the insensible grass which calls not for the dew, yet the dew of his love gently fell upon us; and though we had not sought it, our heart was refreshed by it. Our Lord has indeed proved how he loved us by the gracious way in which he has borne with our many provocations; and think too, beloved, with what gifts he has enriched us, with what comforts he has sustained us, with what divine energy he has renewed our failing strength, and with what blessed guidance he has led and is still leading us! Take thy pencil and paper, and try to set down in figures or in words thy total indebtedness to his love; where wilt thou begin, and when thou hast begun, where wilt thou finish? If thou wert to record only one out of a million of his love-gifts to thee, would the whole world be able to contain the books that might be written concerning them? No; all thou canst say is, "Behold how he has loved us!"


help my unbelief!

"Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?
Shall I, who cause to bring forth shut the womb?
says your God."
Isaiah 66.9
"...I was expecting the labor pains to end in a miscarriage. But God uses our pain to create life, not death!"
my friend's words cut me to the heart yesterday. how true of my own soul! i'm afraid God isn't doing a good work. i believe lies. i've been fighting His loving hands, b/c I don't expect good fruit. i don't consider them labor pains bringing new life forth. i consider them pointless, i'm waiting for death. i don't want to be okay with being broken, i don't want to roll with the punches. i fight them, i try to fix myself as soon as i possibly can.
yet. somehow, by His amazing grace.
He has planted hope in my doubting soil.
He has answered my daily prayer of "Lord, HELP my unbelief!" i do truly believe He's going to heal me, completely. i don't believe my scars are permanent. i don't believe He's cracking me open for no purpose. i've given it to Him, surrendered. He can have His way with me. if that means tears and heartache i don't understand every day for years, alright. He's good. if that means tomorrow i wake up to problems solved, broken lives mended overnight, hallelujah! but His goodness is the same either way. i've asked for healing, ending, joy that endures and freedom. He will give them to me. in HIS timing. not a second before.
but i'm ok with that now.


yellow tulips

i have this friend...she brought me a mason jar of yellow tulips today. (smile) just cause she understands the fight to wear yellow & not grey. she wrote a note that nailed me, convicted me, and gave me hope. it meant the world to me. and it wasn't at all practical or convenient--she drove 35 miles out of her way, just to show me love. just to remind me God is greater than my hurt. just to say, "i know you're heart's been taking a brutal beating, but you're not alone in this fight, & it's worth it, so don't give up. deliverance is coming!" ah wow. undeserving me!

abi gives me a reason to believe in God's goodness. she LOVES Jesus & pursues Him no matter what. she has a hard time saying the words "i" & "love"; which is funny b/c dang, she says it without words far better than almost anybody i know! she has a talent for writing. a magic with words. she's astounding. oh, did i mention she's one of my childhood best friends ever?! yeah. THAT'S how i KNOW God loves me!! seriously. she is an example of Christ's love for me. i never feel in danger of losing her friendship. no matter how unloving, self-focused, doubtful, selfishly downcast i am. she's never given up on me. no matter what, she'd still fight for me. still encourage me. still listen. i'm not sure how i know this, i just do. i never feel as if i could, or need to, earn her friendship. i just have it. the same way i just have Jesus love-- that is not typical of me. i don't think i'm a very lovable sort & i don't trust people. i'm secure in hers, in this friendship / sisterhood. How kind He is!

THE biggest gift she gives is in making Jesus more beautiful to me, in whatever way I need it. sometimes, that means stabbing me with truth. she convicts me. pushes me to love Jesus more, reveals areas i question Him, asks hard questions. sometimes directly, sometimes the Lord just uses her without her knowing. her direct correction is painful, but loving. truly the "faithful are the wounds of a friend" kind. she takes the time to know me, to really find out where my heart is first. so it goes down easily. perhaps it's because i respond to gentleness, and her direct correction is always honest, gentle& loving. i feel that she legit cares for me when she cares for my soul. prob helps that we have the same mind & heart 90% of the time...lol. God uses her as His scalpel. i am so grateful for it.

i can't come close to returning the blessing & encouragement abi gives me. i want to! even though i never feel like i have to, in fact that makes me want to try all the more...
thanks for being a spot of yellow in my life too abi. you're part of how Jesus makes life beautiful.


rawness (on the subjects of pain, Jesus' rich love, &fragility)

i am fragile.
i am tired.
i am aching.
{i feel defeated}

i am fragile, physically & emotionally. (i've become aware of the latter just recently)
i am tired, cause i feel hard pressed on every side. (nowhere near to the extent of Paul!! but see above. i am not paul.)
i am aching, b/c i am still learning Jesus' way in loving others. in being vulnerable. i hurt b/c i sin, b/c others sin, b/c healing is painful.
{my feelings don't define truth. or me}

but in Christ: OH Christ, how sweet the Name!
in Christ, my fragility forces me to lean into His strength.
in Christ, my exhaustion makes every victory HIS; not mine.
in Christ, my wounds give me compassion for others. push me into His arms. & are healed!!
{in Christ, i will never be ultimately defeated}

kicker: i have to fight to get to Christ. i have to fight for joy. to believe in hope, light, grace. i have to battle what my eyes have seen, the warnings of my head, past experiences with their bitter taste of disappointed hopes still lingering in my mouth. i have to fight for His perspective when i am blind. He is there, always. but i stubbornly have to fight to keep my eyes open.

lately i haven't been fighting. because sometimes i don't want to. sometimes i believe the lie that i'm alone in the battle. the lie that fighting is more painful than being whatever i feel or think to be true. sometimes, i feel the darkness is going to win. sometimes i feel everything in me is going to collapse in battling it and all the hard effort will be wasted. sometimes i inform the Creator of the Universe that i'm done. that i'm not going to fight until i see something to hope for...as if He had not given me the surest most lovliest of hopes!! He saved me from myself!! my sin separated me from Him-- He gave His Son to give me LOVE! to give me the most delightful satisfying relationship i could possibly know. that of His friendship. yet. i act as if He is not the sweetest most beautiful treasure. as if it's my right to choose to fight or not; when rather its the kindest undeserved mercy, that i am free too! well. look who has a new, shining sword in her hands...and look Who has His hands over hers, guiding, strengthening, comforting.

oh foolish child.
oh gracious Father!

Father. forgive me. i don't want to fight tonight. i just want to let hurt swallow me, i want to give up. part of me wants to say "one ray of hope, one night of peace, one glimpse of something lovely. then cruelly you let satan at me again. you let the darkness of the past threaten to kill that vision. so soon. why? why test me on the joy, peace, love you spoke to my heart this morning so soon? it's been less than 24 hours!" what blasphemous, untrue, evil words! that is NOT the character of my God! oh what faithlessness, that i would entertain them. forgive me for emotionally controlled, evil thoughts Father!! ah, but. only *part* of me. is that not evidence that You save me continually? that this mornings promises were true? is it not true, that underneath all this there is a peace i've been lacking? thank You, for being my anchor. thank Your for allowing me to feel & see the strong scarlet cord that ties me to You. How are You so good. You are far more precious to me than anything else. So much evidence of Your mercy...i didn't cry all the way home, b/c the little sparks of joy you put in me are rooted in YOU. not a state of mind, not circumstances, not relationships. How sweet that is! i am determined to keep the joy You've given me. haha. Oh Jesus, we both know. without Your intercession this moment. i would be in a crumpled heap of bleeding heartness on my floor, angry at myself for feeling, swearing to lock my heart up if it's going to be so pathetically easy to cut. but i'm not. i sit here upright. in calmness of mind. slightly bleeding, but slightly smiling. mostly singing! of how beautiful Your constancy is to me. How beautiful Your grace for my many sins. How astounding is Your forgiveness. Yes Lord, I will fight. You have given me a taste of freedom & light. if You are with me, i will let nothing take that from me. nothing, no one.
You are my treasure. You are all i need. i HAVE you!!


fantastic much?

um, why yes, i'd love one of my walls to be covered in the book peter pan, thank you very much... www.spinelessclassics.com


life. is. beautiful

no really. despite the silly angst i spew here, i truly believe life is lovely! cause of Jesus. first and foremost. i don't know how life would be worth living without His death, perfect life & resurrection making fellowship with God possible. i don't know how i'd find silver linings. i don't know how anything could be sweet without the steadiness of His love!
He gives so many little blessings. the simplest, everyday joys are sometimes the sweetest. doesn't take much to remind me how loved i am. or to make me smile. some seasons it takes more than others, true...i tend to come here when i'm overwhelmed, burdened by things i don't/can't/shouldn't verbalize to others. it ends up reflecting only the awfulness of me & the struggles of wanting to love Jesus. not so much His goodness or kindness or triumphs. i use the blank pages to sort out my tangles.
but i wanted a spot of brightness. so here's a written equivalent of a mason jar filled with yellow tulips...cue julie andrews singing "these are a few of my favorite things..." :

tulips! elegant white ones, cheering yellow, calm purple. espesh dramatic creamy ones with deep stripes of crimson bleeding through the petals...
tulips are my fave! but i confess i've the girly love of flowers. i appreciate the colour, shapes, textures and livingness of em

psalms. valley of vision.

driscoll--even though he makes me cringe as well

iced coffee. black, or with cream. such an evidence of grace. unless it gets sugared, then it's a test of MY grace...

LETTERS!! snail mail is the best ever.

my super comfy gray cardi from gap

besties. God's given me the privilege of living life with some of His most brilliant crown jewels. no exaggeration, i'm daily challenged/refreshed by one or more of those women! some are in my church, some are scattered across the state and even ga and vancouver.

windows-open weather

theme songs of the day with abs

driving on highways in a car with working music of some form--yay for roadtrips!

packers &gator football, oh baby

random story texts

good music! songs that take you out of yourself or get in your mind and spell out what you're feeling for you.

the sea. pictures of the sea, songs about the sea, going to the seashore, shells that remind me of the sea...a little bit in love with the ocean. maybe.

i could go on and on but probably should save some for later. see, i really do have happiness...my life is beyond good. Jesus makes it beautiful. =)


[those walls were up for a reason]

without walls.
i don't do so well.
because armor and walls and fierce independence? they've held me together for so long. it's a strange mix of intentional and subconscious.
my walls are legit. they're the glue that keeps me together. my armor is a masquerade. it's the mask that hides the broken girl that CAN'T keep herself afloat. that girl knows Jesus is all that keeps her passion for life alive. He is the only brightness keeping life beautiful. independence is the charade that forces me to be okay. if others need you to be, you are. done. simple as that. on the surface. (but not really...)
partly happened without me even knowing. the other part? the other part arose from not knowing what to do with pain. a reaction of not wanting to feel. not wanting the humility of brokenness. half reaction. half self-sufficiency. taking matters into my hands since Jesus (out of love) doesn't give us quick fixes...

now that my armor is full of chinks and my walls are breaking down. i can't keep up the independence. not only is it apparent to everybody around me just how NOT ok i am. i'm truly seeing the depth of that for the first time. i feel more alone than i have ever felt in my whole life. i've never been one to look to others for help or comfort or solace. i think b/c i know nobody can really give it. but for what's probably the first time in my life i want somebody to. because my weakness is being revealed, and i'm looking for a way to escape. i want a place to hide. i want to hide my wounds and not be broken. i want to be healed and whole, so i can be independent. not needy. not feel the burden of wanting comfort, but knowing nobody else but Jesus can understand. He knows my pain, He knows why the silliest things hurt. He's designed them! He created storms specifically for my personality and character growth. storms that for me are hurricanes, are calm seas for others. He designs things to destroy my independence. to draw me to Himself. which is why i need JESUS...only He knows, and He has His loving hands on the cracks in my heart. even though i feel like it gets harder and harder to breathe. i don't feel like i'm healing. i feel like i'm being stripped and shattered more. i didn't know that was possible. it must be for good though. i know it will be proven to be!!

^^i think that's why my joy has died. partly it was on a false foundation. but. not all false--i do know how to rejoice and hurt. i know the sweetness of running to Him for comfort. i know how to sing with a truly happy heart. i do believe life is beautiful.
i've just forgotten.
i don't want to have to. joy is discipline. i'm foolish and blind. breaking my walls down has been breaking ME. i'm falling apart. instead of taking it to Christ, i've looked to others. i've tried to lean on somebody else and let him pour into me so i don't have to keep crawling over to the fountain. OUCH.
and i knew it. i knew i'd become draining. i knew it'd be a stripping-rebuilding process. but i listened to well-meant kind words instead of what I know about myself and the Lord's counsel.
which has led to craaaaassshhiiing. hard.

i lost joy when i started feeling. (so it wasn't true joy eh?) because i'd retreated to my own world and closed my eyes for awhile. i'd been numb. very pleasant to be numb, not gonna lie! so the shock of reality of where those i love dearest are in life...hurt. sharply. then my walls, the stiff upper lipness that i've trained myself in, to keep pain from affecting me wasn't there. i didn't know how to run to the Lord, b/c i've been living in the school of my own way too long. feeling a hell of a lot + no walls = falling onto whatever seems safest at the moment.
bad news.

oh what a messed up  little child.
that's okay.
i'm on my way to becoming a slightly wiser, slightly stronger, dependent on Christ, truly joyful daughter.
 i just started writing out of the ache. this is me being excruciatingly honest and vulnerable...i think He answered.
 ((cue "your hands" by jj heller))


inextricably mixed

^i like the way that phrase sounds. sounds like my heart + mind.  i need an unfiltered, untheologically corrected verbal spewing of all that's swirling in my mind/heart these days. the words which follow are not self-edited. therefore they represent the entangled soul caught betwixt depravity and purity. well. that's partially untrue. the soul is counted righteous and belongs to Christ, hallelujah!! it is the mind which is still caught. i AM saved. i surely will be without sin and all of Jesus one day. but not yet. here, i am still a battleground. the work is begun; but it is not finished. I am partially filled with Jesus, partially ever attempting to run back to my old chains. the mind wavers between sin and obedience. sometimes following self-centered demands of rebellion. yes, sin's bondage is broken. yes, i am no longer held captive by my flesh. yes, i am FREE to choose who will master me. and there are times when i obey the freeing, gentle, loving rule of Christ. but. not always. i am still human. my tendencies & thought patterns are still being made new. some days they are just old. some days i am stuck. some days i am the three yr old sobbing that she "just can't help herself, i WANT to do good but i can't! i have a stinker inside of me!"
as of late. i can see no forward progress. well i relate to paul in romans 7! greatly do i long for a little more of romans 8! a little triumph, a victory to be felt and seen! but. i cling to His promises elsewhere (i've already put verses on this up here enough that i'm not searching for them now lol) that He must be at work still. He is refining. slowness in progress is not the result of His failing. He does not give up. He doesn't stop. He will always be conforming me to the image of His son. My foolishness, my pride, my evil desires impede progress. i struggle, wrestle, live in tension. no matter how redeemed i AM. i will never fully LIVE in my redemption til i see Him.
at the end of the day? it doesn't matter.
HE will have His way.
I will be made into that which I am legally seen as: innocent.
free in total.

well. that wasn't at all the unleashing i intended! i'm a swirl of aaahhh idk wth to think about this, where is my heart here, why does this make me feel that, why can't i shut it all down...but hey. this was probably more encouraging to read. and it's a tiny bit of where i am and always will be "until that day when, free from sinning, i shall see Thy lovely face"

thank you Jesus for shifting my tangle of words into a reminder of Your grace. 


sweet tea & front porches

i LOVE being southern!
no really. i identify myself with the south almost as much as i claim irishness and ballet in my dna...
i know folks say florida isn't really southern, not in a deep south cultural sense. there is truth in that...orlando is decidedly un-southern. ugh. the closest you can get to a southern atmosphere in downtown orlando, or near orlando for that matter, is if you bring it with you. like going with my friend Mo who's 'bama accent, charm & mannerisms drip southern climate. thankfully, the farther north you go the more southern you are. jacksonville feels more southern than orlando. and several miles south of the georgia or alabama border you're as southern as it gits.

but somehow, i've claimed southern identity. i have quirks of thinking that have become almost rules in my mind. probably fed by growing up on Southern Living, To Kill a Mockingbird, yes ma'am &loyalty to family & country. being a primary babysitter during my teens for a native GA woman who breathed deep south hospitality didn't hurt either...

silly things, little things make the south home. i don't realize how much it's true until i'm in the north or out west for a few weeks. then the first stop across the mississippi or below maryland just feels like...mmm i'm HOME!! i belong here! lol.
certain things i think define my southern bend of mind...like good, homemade food being central to all fellowship. whether it's a football party, having folks for dinner or just an afternoon at the house. gotta be some time spent in the kitchen! open-door & more the merrier policies. sweet tea is made with real sugar. the best teams in college football reside in the SEC. unless they're genius minds going to yale i expect my kids to pick an SEC college... [except for that horrid black & red poser team... ;)] i'm suprised when a guy holds a door or gives up his seat for me, but then i ALWAYS think "he must be southern". fishing? invented in the south. c'mon, you have to take your time and can't be hurried it HAD to come from "us"! negative things too, like politeness at all costs to your face, even at the sake of honesty. but i'm not really into analyzing southerness here...just wanted to write and this comes easily...anyway...i don't abide by it, but i feel the unspoken code of the south that says a woman isn't dressed if she leaves the house without eyeliner & polished hair...tshirt and jeans? gym clothes? acceptable attire, IF you have a full face and perfect hair. any event after 6 oclock, & special occasions from football games to baby showers call for the nicer end of your wardrobe...i kind of love all the idiosyncrasies, the stereotypes--both true and false; and the things i assume are common the world over until i leave the south and find dang, took that for granted! mostly its the people. duh. cultures die without people continuing to carry them along by their actions &lifestyles. i intend to have a southern atmosphere wherever i am. i want my home to be known for a listening ear, good food, and the place to watch every gator game come football season.

ran out of words, but i just wanted to write something true but non-thinking...


frustrated vents shouldn't be taken too seriously

well since i'm going to be pulling an all nighter, may as well write myself out eh? i'm just going to pretend that this is still my own hidden space. let loose all i've been restraining, say whatever i want. not consider how it might be taken. i need some breathing space! i need room. so i'm making some right now,
i. hate. words.
no really.
i'm not any good at math, but at least numbers themselves don't make me feel stupid. there are only 0-9 after all. in an infinite number of combinations, true. but nobody thinks when you say "twenty" that you mean "eleven". everyone knows you mean twenty ones, two tens, four fives. it's concrete. nobody misunderstands you. the effort you put forth is rewarded in correct understanding of the answer to the equation. unless you have dis-calculi, in which case you most likely read the equation backwards...different subject.

i'm much better at talking than i am math.
but words are just like little cages that trap what i think. they take my thoughts and twist them so that they look entirely foreign to me when i try to express them. then i feel trapped and suffocated and spent. they make me feel like shit. they don't help me out at all, evil little creatures! not the least little bit. few things feel worse than having a 2-hour conversation and knowing you weren't understood at all. & you can't think of another way to state what you've said multiple times, it just isn't getting through. but you've said it as bluntly as you can. what other way is there? if you take the basic concept and try to dress it in fancier clothes, won't the meaning be even more lost?

i don't know. all i know is that i'm done. i can't possibly try harder, i can't think anymore. i'm exhausted mentally and communicationally (there's a new word for webster) but i'm not mentally tired enough to sleep. i'll just sit here feeling broken and wracking my brain, but it won't change anything. is it laziness if one asks the Lord to change your words in another person's head so that they get you? if you've tried multiple ways to say the same thing over a period of a few weeks? probably not a prayer that's going to be answered. seems the Lord's way is more along the learning growing line...hooray. only i don't think i can learn or grow anymore in this area without breaking my window with my fist. or my head on my wall...haha.
sigh. ahh. can i just have a wordshaking gift? thankfully the gospel has already been written out for me. i should just go live on an island all alone where i don't need words...just the ocean.
since i can't leave for an island in the middle of the night though. i'll just listen to eric church, sara barrielles, sanctus real, jj heller & eminem. i know. wild combination. but they help me get frustration out & calm me to where i can read the Bible till the sun makes this whole foolishness look as silly as it is...

i bet in heaven, i'm going to open my mouth and just have colours and instrumental music come out...



be still,
my soul,
and wait before the Lord...
HE will act, He will fight for you, and you have only to be still.

HE is GOD.
^ ((i am not.))



alright. so if i'm going to be completely honest, that last post was a cop out...haha.
i relate more to the song wounded right now.
because i feel like God began something, i feel like He was breaking me.
then stopped.
Left me here with a heart still partly stone, cracked and bleeding, and i have no way to make it whole. i've tried a million band aids and scriptures and prayers and everything under the sun. i've tried pretending i was already whole. i've tried faking it. i've tried thinking i'm crazy psycho with a wierd victim complex. i've pretended i had an unbreakable heart.
then i tried honesty...
i KNOW i'm not abandoned. i know He hears me, he speaks through people and His Word. His kindness in evident in so many little everyday mercies. He is not "silent", as some would use the term.
but when i sit before Him in silence. it stays silent. that is a silence i am not used to. that is the most painful thing i have ever felt or experienced.

when i walk, i don't feel His hand on my shoulder.
and i cannot find that there is anything in my life that is hindering my reception of His voice. i'd repent and run to Him as fast as possible if only i could find some rebellion, but there isn't one. there are wrestlings and struggles but i'm longing for Him to just my break my hip already.
i want to obey. i want to give in. i don't want to fight. but i'm powerless to even surrender without His help.
I know He is teaching me something. I know it won't be like this forever. i'm sure He will speak.
but if i could just admit where my heart is...
it feels like part of me is dying, like colour is fading from the world, like i can't breathe. i just can't live without His presence being VIBRANT. day to day. hearing and feeling from Him, even correction. Oh God, I would give up the sweetest gifts you've given me to have the closeness of my walk with you back.

battle song

the father of lies
Coming to steal
Kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies
Be telling the truth
Of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
Then death is mine
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

Oh the devil’s singing over me
An age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

shane and shane//embracing accusations.
although if i'm to be honest, wounded by them hits where i'm at just as much...



my brain never stops thinking. NEVER. not as in it keeps me surviving.
as in it is too smart for it's own good.
it's not smart, but it thinks it is, and it thinks about things faaaaaarr beyond it's IQ level.
Oi oi.
just once, it would be nice to focus on doing laundry. and not be doing laundry while my brain cycles through why i don't really like to call myself "christian"& whether that is an ok thing or a not ok thing. how that word seems to come with a whole culture attached to it that i'm not necessarily on board with. all the connotations that come with the concept of being a christian. and how most of them aren't true. the biblical definish of christian, and what a christian is today or what people hear when they hear the word are vastly different. it means something different to almost everybody, how it depends on experience and interactions with folks with that label (rightly or wrongly, which is even another train of thought) and why i wish it actually just meant "choosing to love Jesus forever" but it doesn't.

or what would i do if the dryer exploded, like this freak accident? what actions would i take and how would i respond if we lost our house and everything because of fire...what would be the best thing i could do for my family? so ridiculous.

or how is that God creates families? as in the general idea of families, the concept of a unit of people who are connected by blood, different from any other connection with any other person yet still so easily severed. & how kids are biologically part of their parents, & the mental and emotional seems to have similarities to but yet they are still their own individual people. vastly different from their parents when it really comes down to how they live and choices they make. how do personalities develop anyway? how does environment change a person? is there a way to lessen the impact of how you are raised determining who you are? where does your belief system enter in to that? how many insane details God orchestrates everyday & what parts are sovereignly designed, absolutely vital? what part does our human will & responsibility play in all that? are there things God would prefer not to happen yet chooses to allow? believing in both His sovereignty & free will as defined by scripture is not easy! hyper-calvinism or armenianism sounds so much simpler. bu then really i am grateful that my God doesn't fit in boxes...see and yet another thread could start. AAHHH!!! shoot me. lol.

yeah i never let myself finish those thoughts because i'm not smart enough to ever reach any conclusion, and i think an opinion formed in ignorance is just arrogance.

i am crazy. so annoying. just want my damn brain to shut up. and let me live in silence for awhile. am i the only one with a crazy loud mind?



bleh. i hate white blank spaces. when i have storms in my head and my heart is being silent because it wants to stay out of the argument. c'mon. give me something to work with here?
i feel like i need to run 8 miles to figure out what's inside me. i need a huge thunderstorm, and i need to be IN it. not watching it from behind glass. actually inside where the lightning tingle threatens to strike me and stop my heart. where the rain is so powerful it soaks me in seconds, forcing me to my knees. where the wind almost knocks me over. that sounds really good to me right now...

good news. i won't care in five years. about anything i do now, except Jesus. and the people i am closest to. that's it. it won't matter whether i felt failure or triumph, it won't matter how often i sinned or how often i loved Jesus. those decisions are important in the here and now, but really. super big deals are quickly forgotten in this life. thankfully.

i'm a mess. no really, and not the hot southern kind either. more like the Oh God sombody call the demolition crew lol...hazard to myself much.

in light of eternity though, that doesn't really matter either. even things i don't see God working through. things i think will affect my future. won't. that is in God's hands, and i can't really change it. i can make it easier or harder on myself to follow Him, and thats the end of my finite power. *whew! what a good deal! my God works in the impossible. scratch that, He THRIVES on impossible. He's most glorified when we are weak, when it's obvious that it's His power at work.
if it's not obvious that i am weak. incapable of doing any good on my own.
you're blind.

what disorganized ramblish. how shocking. i normally write so neat & coherent...



i just read abigail's latest Ukraine post.
conviction much? i too, have certain things where i have been knocking. and i haven't pushed through until God changes my heart--because i don't want him too. well i do, i really do! mmm, or maybe not so much? my actions would testify to the latter.
i don't want an answer.
because it won't come easily. it won't be all glory and light and peace. it will be hard-fought.
it's going to take wrestling, and probably dig up some pain.
healing is always painful here on the broken earth.
guess i know what i'll be doing tonight.
but also
hooray! i've needed a catalyst. hooray for Jesus using people, for Jesus taking my sin to it's end. bearing the horrendous wrath i've earned. for declaring me righteous by His blood. so that i can approach the throne, for fellowship with God as Father. hooray that i know He'll do a good work. hooray that indwelling sin truly is beaten, just not vanquished yet.
so much to be grateful for!!


allowing myself to feel. is hard work.

((i wrote this in march 2009. found it today. i remember being there. & i'm not anymore. but. think i'll always wrestle with not wanting to feel. always fight my natural tendencies to internalize, shut off my heart, run emotion through the filter of logicness. force my heart to obey my head. some things are easier to be biblical [and human] about than others. i know as the Lord grows me, it'll be easier. maybe someday it can be a strength? idk.))

“...We may know the right answer. And yet we don’t know it. It is a hard answer. But we make it sound like a pat answer. God sets about a long slow answering. But we try to make it a quick fix. His answer insists on being lived out over time and into the particulars. We act as if just saying the right words makes it so. God’s answer insists on changing you into a different kind of person. But we act as if some truth, principle, strategy, or perspective might simply be incorporated into who we already are. God personalizes his answer on hearts with uncanny flexibility. But we turn it into a formula: “If you just believe__________.” If you just do_______. If you just remember_____.” No important truth ever contains the word “just” in the punch line.”

“If you do not feel the weight or knife-edge of what is happening, you are a stone, not a human being. Image-bearers of God are not impervious. ”

“Honesty is able to feel the weight of things that arouse fear and dismay. The problem is not that we feel troubled by trouble and pained by pain. Something hurtful should hurt. The problem is that God slides away into irrelevance when we obsess over suffering or compulsively avoid it.”
-David Powlison.

pretty much. there it is. every day i am grateful for the gospel. every day there is hope and joy present because of the KiNDNESS of God. but some days there is also weight. i want to be a stone some days. i am uncomfortable with the amount of emotion in my heart and how it works its way out to my sleeve. i am not used to being near tears so much. i want to flip off the emotions switch, to go back to the comfort zone of keeping it all neatly locked away.

guess what.

i don't think that is what God wants.

i think God wants me to be honest. to stop being afraid that natural sorrow will become sinful bitterness, doubt, or self-pity before i have a chance to fight it. i'm pretty sure that He who called me is strong enough to keep me from falling into darkness.


found this the other day & it made me laugh. so funny. except i don't really like "charming". its a little snake-like. too smooth = sketch. def don't agree with all of these (stand up when i come to the table, what, like i'm the queen or something? please don't! lol) but it's fun. i need some fun around here. espesh b/c when Abigail returns to me, she'll get a kick out of this. Abs we should do our own list... mine would be way shorter. keep 1. 2's big, but i can kill my own bugs. 5-6 so true. then all you need is loving Jesus & putting up with my fam & something about fishing. right abs? ;)

15 Ways to Charm Her
Southern Living, July 2009 By Amy Bickers
“Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think “What would my grandfather have done?”
Number one: We still expect you to give up your seat for a lady. On a bus, at a bar, on a train. . . we don’t care where you are. Unless you are at a restaurant and the only lady in sight is the one taking your order, stand up...So, men, here’s a short list of things Southern girls still expect from you.

We still expect you to…

  1. Stand up for a lady. Actually, this doesn’t just involve chairs.
  2. Know that the SEC has the best football TEAMS IN THE NATION. Big 12 fan? Hmm, perhaps you should keep walking.
  3. Kill bugs.
  4. Hold doors open. This goes for elevator doors too.
  5. Fix things or build stuff. I once watched in awe as my stepfather built a front porch on the house he shares with my mother. He knew just what to do, cutting every notch, hammering every nail. The project was complete by sunset.
  6. Wear boots occasionally. Not the fancy, I-paid-$l,000-for-these kind. We’re talking about slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots.
  7. Take off your hat inside.
  8. Grill stuff.
  9. Call us. If you want to ask us out, don’t text and don’t e-mail. Pick up the phone and use your voice.
  10. Stand when we come back to the dinner table.
  11. Pull out chairs. Wait, that’s not all. Scoot them back in before we hit the floor.
  12. Pay the tab on the first few dates.
  13. Don’t show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt. Care about your appearance but not too much. Don’t smell better than we do. Don’t use mousse or gel. You shouldn’t look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do.
  14. Never get in bar fights. Patrick Swayze might look cool in Road House, but in reality, bar fights are stupid and embarrassing. You don’t look tough. You look like an idiot.
  15. Know how to mix our favorite cocktail JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT. Fix your favorite too. Sit down on the porch (it’s okay if you didn’t build it), tell us how your day went, and we’ll tell you about ours..."


i should be sleeping

the sun is going to come up much too early for my tired self tomorrow. but i can't sleep. or read. maybe if i toss scattered ramblish out of my head. sleep might show up.

i danced my heart out today. after dancing out other things, my heart finally showed up. i don't know if it's from not taking lessons anymore. or from having what feels like an old and fading body. but.
it's becoming hard to really dance with my heart. i'm forgetting how to be free. my head gets total control. so distracting. "um you call that a develope en second? your leg's closer to the floor than the ceiling! you haven't taken lessons in some 4 years...choreography please? something decent? ouch! okay maybe shouldn't try decent when your muscles are cold& unstretched...what the hell was that?!...etc"

ugh. constant chatter. you'd think i was conscious of an audience. instead of having a whole house to myself...eventually i got to the sweet spot. of forgetting myself. not visualizing. just feelin the music. the liberty of. who cares if it looks like shit. don't think. don't try to make it choreography. lets not pretend we can actually dance anymore, and just move. however the music flows, and dance out whatever you feel. that place, is lovely. so very free. free in a way words won't ever set me. in a Jesus inviting way. in a yes, i want God to be in control not me.
except for the super sore left hamstring, aching back, shaky muscles after only 25 min of cardio. ick. out of shape much?

and i sorta got this weirdo click. that what a picture of how i live my dance process is. i'm so odd. but hey that's why this is my ramblish place. so i can say whatev & not have to attempt sensicalness.
anyway. i think too damn much.
no really.
when i should just let go. trust Jesus to have my heart. I try to keep myself from sinning. i can't. i should just trust! Him whom i have believed. i analyze my motives. i try to not feel things because i can't really analyze them. haha. and because they never quite make sense to me.
my heart and my head are always disagreeing... i'm part logic //part emotion. part introvert //part extrovert. part structure & control //part abstract free spirit who makes plans just to break them. my heart. my head. always fighting. for control. of me.
kinda over it.
kinda want to just stop.
and breathe.
and not think.
and let Jesus have the control.

shocker. i'm here what, every six months yes? oh to be free from sinning. & humanity. the fallen part anyway...


innocent.(one whose innocence was lost, but restored)

i would like to be six again. yes please? i'd crawl into my parents bed, and just being between them would be enough to fight the monsters in my head. my imagination would be stilled. by the safety of loving sleeping strength. all the vivid images i'd conjured up would die, and i'd sleep. in peace.

i actually don't think i ever did that at 6. but at 23 i wish it was so simple. there aren't monsters in my head, there's an enemy who is quite a match for me. who tells me lies i cannot fight. and apparently, tonight, no amount of praying or scripture reading or worship music is fighting either.

peace? i have peace in knowing my salvation is eternal. that Jesus does have my soul, that He must be with me because i have no new scars on my body. i am not carving the torment of my mind onto my skin, hallelujah! there is one small victory! i know the gospel is true. i am forgiven. i am, in reality, ok. more than ok!

but peace, the feeling of peace, is anything but here. i'm shattered. in a way i haven't been in a very long time, not in years of warfare. it's pathetic. in the past 3.5 hours the trickle of tears comes in waves with the darts. i didn't know i could cry this much in one sitting, at such a small thing... overreaction much? i'm not just letting the devil have his say. i am believing that Jesus has to be the One to defeat Him. I'm battling with the gospel. With logic. With prayer & song. With ok so worst case scenario, it's not a lie; well Jesus still yours, you are his; it's not the end of you!
but. i am so tired of getting hit.
i am so tired of how satan uses. against me! the word.
those who are my brothers & sisters, fellow warriors.

but. HE LIES.
i am alone. this is a battle i have to cling to Jesus alone in. My parents, my besties, my boy, nobody can get in this one with me. i KNOW Jesus is here. but i know how bitterly abandoned david felt when he was writing psalms 86 &88. O Lord. when will you save me? how many times must i cast myself on your mercy, begging you to stop the lies that have the pain of past reality entwined. the voice that reminds me of my past sins so sharply, it's as if he is scraping glass along my skin. it makes me so grateful that i know. know. beyond a doubt. i am forgiven!! but oh how i long for a forgetting. to cast it from east to west, to not have to every 5 minutes plead the blood of my precious Christ. to not have pictures in my head.
lies can hurt so fiercely. slay me. when nothing else gets close. such a little one too! how often have we done this? how often have i stood accused? & heard Paul declare the promise of God that NONE can condemn those HE has justified? so why is it different this time? it's shameful how weak i am. how easily shattered by a few words. words,thoughts. wielded like a sword. my shield keeps the blows from being mortal.
but allows bruises.

i cannot wait for dawn. for light. for seeing the Savior one day (oh soon please!) as He stands in Rev 19. As i know He has stood with me. silently. unfelt. but there, supporting sustaining saving. saving His little lamb, who feels anything but worth saving.


perfect love casts out fear

"there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4.18
"Nothing can separate me from the love of God.*
Christ Jesus, my Savior, has redeemed me. has set me free from my sin. sin is no longer my slave master. no longer divides me from God.
Therefore. Nothing can separate, sever me.
Not sin. not too much serving. not business. not hatred. not fear. not satan nor demons. not hurt or pain or loss. not joy. not good blessings. NOTHING!!
How can this be? How can such unbelievable goodness be true? What about my filth, my unbelief, my pride, my whoring, my distrust? my unfaithfulness, my abuse of good gifts?
It. is. Finished.
None of this (^) affects that*, the truth that He loves me. that truth never changes. the sins and wanderings of my heart, they affect my reception, my believing, my feeling this truth. but they don't actually touch the reality of it. and this, this overwhelming love. the reality of it, the unchangingness of it, the depth of undeserved, free, un-earned therefore unloseable LOVE is God's answer. He meets me with love. that's it! all i hear, all i feel. it undoes me. it moves me to surrender fully, to not fight, to repentance, to sweet freeing trust. to cast myself upon Him.
because perfect love, casts out, ALL fear!!"

i experienced the truth of this scripture today. ^that's what i wrote in my journal during dock time. that was my answer from the Lord. He is insanely GOOD!

i've been seriously struggling with fear this week. i've been too busy with "good" things that aren't "first" things. i haven't spent the time with Jesus i needed. i haven't been abiding in Him or dwelling in His presence. i've been running hard in my own strength. trying to fill up without stopping, attempting to pour out much more than i have to give. pride, self-sufficiency, and consequently every other sin have been running rampant in my heart and overflowing onto those closest to me all week long.

so this morning i went to my Jesus-in-concentration spot. packed up the trusy ipod, bible and notebook and planned to be on the dock as long as it took. until all my sin was confessed. all my cares cast. all my fear looked at in the face. i was pretty certain i'd be corrected, probably informed of areas that needed to change. well, as i was recieving His delightful forgiveness. He poured out his rich love on me and i already wrote all about that...so yeah. story of the day.

((if today had a soundtrack, it'd be prodigal by the Micheal Gungor band, i need you to love me by barlow girls, nothing but the blood, sweetly broken by jeremy riddle, and of course. divine romance by phil wickham.))


sometimes i don't have words

((often)). especially when there is so much going on inside of me...good things & heart things & my head trying to sort it all out but realizing some things in life, are not logicalness. sometimes God gives us situations. that require trusting. blind following. resting in His plans & knowledge and the joy of being okay with knowing only that He is in control. i put on my pointe shoes today. and danced until i was shakily beyond breathing. as if i could dance my emotions into articulation...if only i could!! if only i had movements for my heart. sigh. news flash: i an't do a fouette en pointe anymore. only one rotation and the ankle gives out, so tragical. haha. mmm. so here i am sitting in my room. back supported by a sea coloured wall, hurting rubbed raw feet stretched out in front of me. the warmth of the laptop easing sore legs. allie moss & eminem sharing my grooveshark.
and my heart is so full.
my head confused,
but peacefully resting on an anchor stronger than me.
and i have no words.
they're trapped,
trapped in my chest like a swallow in a cage.
but i don't feel suffocated.
cause God knows what the hell is going on.
and i am...
JOYFUL. FREE. LIGHTHEARTED. and feeling, for the first time in my life actually FEELING & not fighting to believe, that HE cares for me.
truly cares. like a father for a daughter, not just loving...actively taking care of me.
(^seems messily throwing thoughts is the thing of late^)