2.24.2013

casting cares, like fishing line. waiting for peace to bite the hook


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)

alright Lord. here i am. i want to believe this verse. i'm anxious about everything. i'm weighed down. i'm discouraged. i'm weak, incapable, inadequate. i feel like i'm failing every area of my life. so i bring this to bear like a sword to the doubt & fear & worry in my heart. You love to be reminded of Your promises? well then. You have promised to provide peace when I bring you my cares with prayer & thanksgiving. i can't do that on my own. my flesh is too weak. my doubting logical mind whispers it will lead to failure. how can you bring these things to God and let them go? how will you improve or fix them? you have to keep thinking about them! mm NO. lets be honest, mind. i can't fix them whether i focus or not. my best efforts have failed. i am helpless. i NEED Jesus.

so.

grateful. how can i bring honest thanksgiving in the areas i am anxious?
*thank you that You provided money for school. thank You for getting me A's last semester. thank you my brain functions normally, i can write read understand (somewhat). 
*thank you for my family, they are such a treasure. how much joy, richness, love & support they infuse into my life!
*thank you for my body, that it takes the wear & tear of my insane fast life decently. thank you i can see hear smell taste walk eat run jump sing dance stretch pump iron & breathe. 
*thank you for church, for the relationships it's given me. for the little tinies that don't know i am not worthy of their adoration. 
*thank you for sending me to Ukraine. thank you for the chance to learn russian & go again. thank you for abi & taylor's patience with me. thank you that every once in a while something clicks.

anxious.

God, i'm overwhelmed. so discouraged that my best efforts aren't good enough. i don't really know how to study harder. i don't know how to memorize. i don't understand how i can find it fascinating and love a subject & its the one I'm barely keeping a 90 in. i know i'm not defined by my grades. but grades i get now will determine where i am in the future. i'm putting this in Your hands. You've planned if & which nursing school i get into. You can bring things to mind, the Holy Spirit can aid me in intellectual ways. You can help me work harder. be smarter. if not, then its not Your best plan for me. failing in school doesn't equal failing in life. or Your will. i don't need a back up plan. i'm not going to make one. 

oh Lord. heal my family? some of us need serious rescuing. thank you for never giving up. thank you for the smallest of victories. thank you for the battles won we don't even see. i don't know Your plan here. i don't know what you want. i don't know how to glorify You and quite frankly i gave up trying to understand anything about this  a long time ago when i decided to just believe You were GOOD & FAITHFUL no. matter. what. keep me there? help us trust You? help us love you? resurrect us to fruitfulness again.


i know i destroy myself. i don't take care of my body, i don't hydrate or rest it enough. teach me? when to push through vs. when to rest. help me say no. help me surrender. late nights are part of this crazy schedule, and most of it is outside my control. help me make wise choices & listen to my body where i can control my schedule. show me how to balance unselfishness and heroics. i can't serve everyone.


um Lord i need filling. i need the Spirit's presence & worship & encouraging teaching...church is not feeding me. not refreshing. sundays drain me. i love the people but please provide a way for me to have a solid month off? idk what that looks like. idk how to say no, if i should just pull out? thank you for always providing joy & love when i ask for it!! You are faithful. You love your church, I want to love it but right now I'm too exhausted. help me get refreshment. thank you for the handful of people in my life who speak biblical truth to me, who bring You into conversation. You are providing spiritual nourishment through them. 


Be with the dear Ukrainians. Protect them, fill them, lead them. Prepare the children's hearts now, go before us and begin to shatter the darkness. let us bring sparks of hope that light the tinder of their hearts. Fight for the children we've loved on in past camps. oh God, don't abandon them. they need you--who else can truly save the weakest abused children? for Ura, for Vanya, for Karina, for Volva, for Natasha, for Anna, for Sasha, Misha, Svete, David, Yulia, Karas, Ivan, speechless girl, my malinki boys...You hold them. You see them. break forth in power? water the seeds, let Your light shine in their hearts. make them a mighty force to revive Ukraine from the inside out--spread their witness to the darkest, spiritually dead, hopeless countries surrounding them. break the chains of abuse, trafficking, silence that weighs down the people of Ukraine. 

help me understand ruski? God i struggle most linguistically, as You know. it feels pointless, it feels futile, it feels the only thing i can cut out. but its such a tool i know i will need this summer. give me understanding.

i let go. give up. here, take: all of me. all of my failures. my Cs. the silliest doubts & the heavy deepest ones. my fears, the pain of others i carry. the temptation to worry over my future, the scariness of having nothing to fall back on. the pendulum heart i have that swings from delighted excitement to trepidation at the unknown before me. the anguish my heart feels at the darkest depression that seems to have talons un-extractable in people in love.


You are all wise. all good. all knowing. all just. perfect, Holy, sovereign. You can do what i cannot. which is everything. i don't have to strive. i can rest, rest in who You are. 

2.16.2013

static

fuzzy static.
there's a radio connection between my heart & the Spirit. the sounds of a station one click to the left, almost clear. bit the words are garbled.
i keep it fuzzy. do I really want to tune in? or not. it might make me change my current course of action. it's probably going to piss off one person in particular, & I really don't want any flak. but I'm the shittiest liar/faker on the planet so I'm already being a fun-killer bc of my internal indecisions. the tension is obvious.
//I fear man more than God.//
I could hear it, loud and clear.
Wouldn't even have to move or leave the people around me.
it would be so simple.
one click. "alright Lord, what are you saying? I'm listening..." but I don't.
//i care more about approval & fitting in then I do about communication w my God//
mmm, but. excuses flood my mind. but I'm really sick if being "that" girl. I'm always alone in these things. why me? if You reeeaally felt this way You could tell somebody else. they love you too. I want to not care. I want to be mainstream.
flip the switch.
the static dies. no fuzz. I shut off the radio. disconnect. part of my heart hardens & shuts off with it. but I don't really care. I've deliberately chosen my way.
so if I'm gonna join em. I'm going in hard. I'm not going to keep one iota of reason or biblical anything in mind. no thank you...I'll be the independent version of me.
it'll be way less awkward. (i think) yet I've cut myself off from the source of peace & joy. killed my ability to love those around me.

//in valuing my perception of what others would say do or think over God's opinion. I also choose myself over the very people I am worshipping//

sure God uses even these moments. God can redeem. my selfishness & idolatry didn't thwart His plan. I don't "feel" bad. I'm not very repentant if we base genuine repentance by emotion. I don't know that I committed any sort of sin.
but.
I am regretful. not bc of the semi-painful awkward outcome. i doubt my listening would have led to any vocalizing my thoughts. it would only have changed my part not the story. but i wish i hadn't taken the easy road. next time it will be harder to tune in. i remember many times in that exact same house when there was no static, the dial was always tuned right. I miss that. I have ignored the One who died so we could communicate. the one who loves me truly. who suffered the wrath I earned. who's to say if God would have used my obedience? wasted opportunity.

I'm done. this girl wants to love Jesus first & pursue Him foremost. i want back to walking by the Spirit. I don't care what I lose. I don't care if I'm that girl forever. I don't care if that makes me be alone or single or despised or mocked behind my back or judged. I don't care if ppl tell me in private they support me but never seem to in public. I need to love Christ MOST. i need Him. He is of infinite greater worth! His friendship is more valuable.

oh God help. I have wandered so far. rescue me from my sickening apathy! work amid our ignorance. heal my heart of its foolish filthy lack of fear for You.

2.11.2013

{heart}

dear rend collective experiment,
i think it was love at first listen. partly because it was my favorite hymn ya'll rewrote. partly because let's be honest, i've been obsessed with Ireland & my irish heritage since age 5 and its incurable after visitng the island at 21. mostly though, its the way you draw my heart to see Christ. your music is a tool He uses. like putting a filter over my camera lens, one that causes God's beauty to sharpen in focus & the flashy cheapness of the world's pleasure to blur. 
i love the way you speak what my heart feels. i love the fresh words you use--they're not big or new words. simple, honest words; the kind i use to speak about my relationship with God that i rarely hear in songs. our language is so tired in the church, while our story is quite the opposite! for example keep me near: "rescue me in weakness of mind...You are everything that is beautiful, You are all that i want to see in me; create in me a heart of divine beauty..." straight up stole that from my journal! or in desert soul: "i'm lost without Your creative spark in me, I'm dead inside lest Your resurrection sing" spot on. my God is creative. i can be creative. my God can see--more accurately; my God has designed redemption for the brokenness of this world in ways I cannot imagine. i get kinda passionate about Jesus & beauty, seeing both in the bible & bringing both together to this dull bleeding earth. but i don't know how to do it. i don't EVER want it to become about me or about beauty for its own sake. and sometimes i feel incredibly small, alone. i know a very few friends who share my heart. but mostly, it seems as if my generation is only passionate about our own dreams or being in love or the newest story. i want to become an american group of 20-somethings passionate about living for Jesus first; and see what flows out of that. i want to be so in love with Jesus that i'm a catalyst for that in others. i don't know how my blank_letter post turned into a me rambling post so.

thank you for putting my heart & words to lovely music. thank you for reminding me that Jesus has beautiful creative people following Him. thank you for reminding me that loving Jesus is JOYful! that its worth stomping, clapping, jumping around about. for all the doctrine in my head i think i forget to rejoice over it.
cheers.



stolen from the bio on their website in case any of ya'll don't know them yet:
“We’re all handmade people created by our God who is not safe or small,” Gareth shares. “Our heart was ultimately to make music that was sonically creative and pushed the boundaries, but we also wanted to write something that really served the Church. It’s not us trying to do something crazy and different for crazy and different’s sake, it’s our response to a truly magnificent God with a wild imagination.”

2.08.2013

.tuesday.

tuesdays are not my day. we struggle to have a love/hate relationship...i roll out of bed at 5.20 for bible study. sometimes have pt at 8 afterwards, if not i get Jesus time. walk into school around 10.30am & don't get out of my last class till 9.15pm. the highlights of my day are: seeing sunrise, coffee from home or from scraping my change together, lab, & my 5.20-6.30 break. i feel like i'm dying halfway through my second class. but i do love bio lab. (sometimes i think that's bc its 3 of 4 & know FOOD is about to happen haha) but. i survive all 11hrs every week. and this time, God met me. so many little ways. i saw His hand all over the place! convicted me. i need to start looking for beauty specifically on tues. need to be praying while i walk from class to class, need to look for grace & ways to be love.
since this is my blog and i can be as boring as i want to. here's a recap of the first thankfulness tues.
this tuesday.
life was beautiful 
because:
good math skills.
truth & friend's bleeding but Godward heart gave courage
driscoll & food & sunset; outside under the sky. fresh air & space & breathing room.
1) never ever seen this before. BOOM!
2) txted this to a friend & was just so blessed by her attitude, her desire to draw near to God. also realized this has been on my wall so long i've stopped reading it.
but its true. for me too. 
3) actually ate a real dinner! first meal of the day, chipotle love.
this sermon. killer. so refreshing how truth on campus changes my entire outlook on those around me. 
thank you Jesus for the fl sky. 

2.07.2013

focusing>>

sometimes the easiest way to fight for joy, to fight to trust God when it seems He is letting go of His grip on the world is (for me anyway) to completely shift focus. to not think on those things. not sort them out, not try to understand. to let go & admit that my mind is too small. to really grasp His plans anyway. to humble myself--lets be real, if God explained His plans step by step i still would be unable to grasp them. i have not the mental scope. finite meeting infinite. i need to let it go. focus my mind on Christ. its in His hands.
so. A Praying Life by Paul Miller is a book i've been soaking in for almost a year now. haven't quite finished it, but i've reread chapters over n over. its simple. but parts of it have grabbed my heart. thought i'd post some of the underlined sections that convicted/comforted meOne of the biggest key points of the book is that prayer is about our hearts & relationship with God.

"As you develop your relationship with your heavenly Father, you'll change...You will be unmasked. None of us likes being exposed. We have an allergic reaction to dependency, but this is the state of the heart most necessary for a praying life. A needy heart is a praying heart. Dependency is the heartbeat of prayer. So when it starts getting uncomfortable, don't pull back from God. He is just starting to work. Be patient."

"...in learning to pray, we must believe like a child. Children are supremely confident of their parents' love and power. Instinctively, they trust. They believe their parents want to do them good. If you know your parent loves and protects you, it fills your world with possibility."

"When Jesus tells us to believe, He isn't asking us to work up some spiritual energy. He is telling us to realize that, like him, we don't have the resources to do life. When you know that you (like Jesus) can't do life on your own, then prayer makes complete sense." {its total arrogance on my part to think that i can do life on my own when the very Son of God in human form "needed" strength from his father. if Christ needed to pray, how much more do i!}

"Jesus' example teaches us that prayer is about a relationship. When he prays he is not performing a duty; he is getting closer to his Father. Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space...you don't create intimacy, you make room for it."

"Prayer is an expression of who we are...We are a living incompleteness  We are a gap, an emptiness that calls for fulfillment." (Thomas Merton)

"We don't  need self-discipline to pray continually, we just need to be poor in spirit. Poverty of spirit makes room for his Spirit."

"Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like broken power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God's wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension. Because anxiety is self on its own, it tries to get control. It is unable to relax in the face of chaos...we forget the last deliverance. ... the Spirit brings humility into our hearts. No longer do we have to be little gods...we cling to our Father in the face of chaos by praying. Because we know we don't have control, we cry out for grace. Instead of flailing around, our praying spirits can bless everything we touch."

*from chapters 2-7

2.03.2013

overlooked blessings

grateful for undeserved common graces:

236) spent wed-thurs babysitting one of my fave families of 5 + an extra girl.

237) comfy sweatpants

238) clean water & hot water--in my house!

239) Beks is happy, well & loves living in WV.

240) Sarah. Abigail. Beks. Wesley. {{i am astoundingly wealthy.

241) made a Mediterranean fish dinner last night after a year of wanting. & it tasted amazing.

242) Friday night w. Emma. my sunshine. lovely.