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.