life is beautiful part 78

its been awhile, but life is still beautiful. here are tonights reasons: 

*tell me I'm not Irish enough to keep up with your lil war? challenge accepted! ;)

*in some seasons, the best way to show love & say goodbye involves confetti, saranwrap, glitter, silly string, Miranda lambert & midnight & a friend's car.

*Star Wars

*texts that say "I love you" out of the blue from someone you know doesn't say it lightly. (& whom you kinda adores back)

*fresh blueberries

*windows down & open roads & lungs that can sing

*wallace, comrade, arwen. 

*God has a plan. & it's magnificent. even when I don't believe it. 

*testimonies of answered prayer & hearing from a friend who just got home from Nicaragua


*end it movement. thank God for this! there ARE believers with passionate hearts! who are not content to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, but instead are willing to actually live like Jesus: messy, engaging, uncomfortable. to rescue & love captives. 


bury my burdens

cold is the night without you here
just your absence ringing in my ears
hard is the heart that feels no fear
without the bad, the good disappears

long is the road that leads me home
and longer still when I walk alone
bitter is the thought of all that time
spent searching for something I'll never find

take this burden away from me
and bury it before it buries me

many are the days I've wanted to cease
lay myself down and find some relief
heavy is the head that gets no sleep
we carry our lives around in our memories

take away this apathy 
and bury it before it buries me

{steady is the hand that's come to terms
with the lessons it has had to learn
I've seen the things that I must do
but Lord, this road is meant for two
so I am waiting here for You}

take my hand and set me free
take my burdens and bury them deep take my burden away from me
and bury it 
before it buries 

{today's theme song_ cold is the night: oh hellos. Idk if they wrote it as a prayer, but that's how it resonates in my heart.}

restless somethin' fierce

tom petty, some mat kearney... modern day drifter & something that wild on repeat. the only time i felt ok today was driving the truck with all windows down. wish i could write out the restlessness in my heart. it won't stop the ADHD of my soul, but maybe it'll ease, if i try.

ever since i was small, i'd get these fierce restless moods. i feel trapped. & i don't want to take it out on those i love so i tend to withdraw. i need to be alone, so i don't bite anybody's head off. cause i can't sit still & i can't do small talk & i can't keep my mind in the present. i forget to ask Jesus for self control & love. i'm try explain what i mean by restless: physical_spiritual_mental. i mean, i always have a bit of wildness in me. but feeling wild doesn't always involve restlessness. it's different. i want to be anywhere but where i am. i can't breathe deep. its not that i want to leave the people i love. it's not that i "need space" in my relationships. ((nothing irks me more than people forever thinking that's what i mean when i say i need or want space. not heart space-if i really love you-MOVING space ya'll! k rant over)) i just want to run. somethin' fierce i wanna run! like a mustang has to feel free kinda thing. i wanna see places i've never seen, i crave new experiences even if they're painful. its as if wanderlust, fear of cages or enclosed spaces & ADHD "little soldiers" all combine in every part of me. its as if my heart can't be still but doesn't know where to go. i feel contained by the earth, gravity. contained by buildings. the ocean soothes me & roughens it outta me. but i can't just pop off to swim any ole day! always includes a bit of feeling like i don't belong. i want to run or fly or dance or anything involving physical movement-as fast as i can. until i'm too tired; i don't want to be stopped by lack of space.

i thought i grew out of this, once. i went months without being restless. huge for me! i thought i was cured for good. foolish girl. i think partly, i wasn't restless bc i had deep peace from resting in Christ. the fullest i had yet. the resting IN CHRIST deepened. peace has ebbed n flowed but til the past few weeks was there. i had enough space in my relationship with Him, space not meaning distance but depth & vastness, that my soul was satisfied. i was honest to goodness in LOVE with Jesus more than i was with ANY other person or thing. how He use to dazzle me with His beauty! but. what i didn't know then, that summer 2011 (& maybe i'm wrong. hate to even admit this to myself, so embarrassing) was that part of my lack of restless was cause i was in love. & it was the first time i realized i could belong to somebody & not be trapped. bizarre. that was me? can't remember what that was really like, seems a lifetime ago. seems like somebody else's lifetime! 

so here i am. frustrated. its been weeks of this. i've been denying that i want to run and don't know where to run to...pretending i'm content & fine when i'm eaten up inside by restlessness. cause i hate that there was a time i wasn't restless & its connected to somebody i don't ever want to be connected to again. i hate that i can't change it, can't remove that part of my memory. feel like i'm slipping back into every part of the old me. which is dumb (God will not allow me to destroy His work)  but we've already established that i'm human ;) sometimes i doubt God even changed me, since then. the past year & a half--sometimes i think it was all in my head & i'm no better. but i can't really believe it, cause there are evidences of change in the core of my being that i can't deny. something drastically changed Feb 4, 2012. & somethings i know for certain. i walked so very close to God in those non-restless days, i could hear the whisper of his voice. damn i miss it! i think that is the deepest longing. i want to hear Him like that again. but i let myself think that was all for naught. bc i still get these wild restless days. what's the point? i just ache to run no matter how dumb i tell myself it is. i thought having a free heart would cure restlessness. being all God's, finally coming to a full white flag total surrender. don't you love how i decided the way things are? & i'm surprised when its not. young arrogance no?

well fine. i'm restless as hell & i'm sick of it. tired of fighting. i'll admit any and all i can find in my heart: God i'm not believing You're ENOUGH. i forget You're home. i forget to love, forget how deeply loved i am. sometimes this hits me for a day when i'm walking closely...but currently that's not the case. which is probably why i've been denying this & pretending i'm happy for weeks. i haven't been living in a real relationship with Jesus. if i am in Christ. isn't that where i belong? oh Jesus. thank you for never giving up on me. thank you for being more permannent than the ink on my skin that daily reminds me i can't renig on giving you my life for YOUR purposes. that whatever You do with me, i still will praise you. keep me? remind me how beautiful you are. oh my eyes are so dim with the cares & wonders of this world! wake me up. i want to be satisified in You. i want to believe you are more wild than i am, bigger & stronger & not safe but the safest place for my heart. You are oh so steady, oh so loving, oh so  vast. help my unbelief. forgive my wandering roaming soul.


chomp the dawgs. (for comrade)

two elves & a hobbit went to GA last weekend. this post is about one elf and one hobbit being particularly hardcore Gator fans. not the tebow-bandwagon or the oh i live in fl and like orange & blue kind. our affinity for UF runs deep in our blood, passed on by grandfathers. we learned to love the game of football by watching college boys run around on a field in those blue & orange colours before we learned anything about popular teams. we also inherited a strong dislike of red & black when it is worn by dogs. one team to never ever cheer for or praise or in any way support? university of georgia. an alabama fan once said "georgia fans, always more obnoxious than most..." & its true. they are meaner & ruder about a good rivalry than most fans i've met. anyway. we love our Wesley more than any sport or team. she is not a fan of football. so we left our gator clothes & hats at home...but we did see an awful lot of gators in ga. we decided to take a pic with all the ones we found & here are a few:

this my friends, is the birthplace of the u of g. disgusting. & right in the heart of savannah...heartbreaking no? we restrained ourselves & only took a chomp picture. since we're classy southern girls and therefore couldn't do anything rude, crass, harsh or cruel...no debasing of the monument...;)

this is what happens when i think out loud

this is going to be ramblish. all over the map, lemme tell you, cause that's where my mind is.

words and i have a strange relationship...they intimidate me sometimes. they evade me, they confuse me, they have a way of shifting & sliding just out of reach when i am in very deep feeling or thought. i literally run out. which is odd if you've ever met me, i have that southern girl capapbility to talk non-stop about things i'm passionate about! i lose them. but there are times where they leap in and form themselves to the exact shape of my ideas. rare, but lovely moments.

i love them in other people's hands. {sometimes} i hate when they're clumsily used or misused, when they're fake or artificial. a well-written book is a treasure to me, whether the plot is slow or fast, smooth or rough, fiction or non-fiction...the words matter. the phrasing matters. and my favorite kind is true. not true meaning "literal" or "reality" or "actual facts that happened". true as in...oh dear. this is hard to explain. the kind of "true" that earnest hemingway meant when he said "always start with a true sentence " fiction can be true. non fiction can be true. fiction can also be fake. non-fiction can have an air of contrived to it.

i think it's the ideas that shape the words. word choice is so important-a good story can be lost in horrid writing. but the ideas must be true. an author has to believe what he's saying, if he expects others to. and a story that is true, with beauty and tragedy and light and dark and all this mingling...if it is rich enough, the words themselves aren't as important. a beautiful truth can rise above less than perfect words.

that's all. thats why i love rick bragg. he's a real southern boy, he grew up rough & fought hard. he's not a polished perfect writer--and i love it. he doesn't always say polite things or politically correct things. i don't always agree with him and i'm sure we'd disagree on biblical truth. but what he says is just .true. it rings with realness. i can taste, smell, hear what he describes and i have no doubt that i've put myself in a place where i'm experiencing what he did as near as a reader can. i'm grateful he doesn't sugar coat the south or himself. i'm grateful he is honest. or at least, writes as if he is.

i want to be true. i want to be real. i want to ring honestly.

i'd like to have a story worth telling. i want my life to paint the gospel--instead of me just reciting the gospel. which i know is a story THE most beautiful, the most grand, the truest of true, more real than any reality we experience  i'm not saying i want a story to tell better than the gospel-that is not possible! but i want my life to be worth the telling. i want my life to have so much of this sparkling light about it that even if the words are bare or simple or all clumsily bunched up; the story shines through. i don't want to measure the meaning of my life by it's look of "success". i don't want to value it according to the specific details. as if my story is more valuable if it's lived in Russia vs America, if it's single vs married. i want to find God's thread of story in mine. remembering that "my" story is actually a chapter in His Great Story.


too much thinking for sleep.
despite my attempts to turn off my mind, its as awake as the sun. i tried to cast my cares & trust strong grace,
to still this loud heart that disrupts my mind...
(i'm losing)

so much life...the colour textures emotions realities shapes stories; these that create a felt existence threaten to overwhelm me with jumble. & hubbub & words go round n round in my head
             to & fro
like waves 
                 playing with the shore.
except if they really were waves,
I would sleep
                    to the sounds of their


processing. |fighting out loud|

God answers prayer.

He's going to lead me, take me deeper than my feet can wander. He's teaching me to walk on waters that threaten to drown me. I may flounder but I will never sink. (ps 37.23-24)

this, the sickness of disappointment, is where my trust is made borderless. adventuresome fears are easier to trust God in, easier to leap into. fears of being left behind or unusable are much tougher. the places i think will create a trust without borders, are not really stretching, refining places. in those seas I could sail by my own power; or my faith would crack & fail because I think more highly of my strength than I ought.
but here? here in the mundane, in the seemingly insignificant, in the temptation of "every time I'm *actually* most excited about something I lose it" place? this is where my faith loses some of its boundaries. this where God smudges the sharp edges of the boxes I use to contain Him. here my faith learns to separate expecting good things via a good God || from specific expectations.

here I am shown that my heart wants God's plan to be about me. but it's not. that irks me at times. i want my life to look a certain way. i want specific paths & doors, I think I know myself best. (I don't) i want others' lives to fit neatly into my own--or. i want some others lives to stop intersecting with mine despite all the times I sever ties... i am not the center. I'm a tool, a vessel; a beloved servant. (dulous) I can be certain that God will redeem & work even when He chooses not to use me. I KNOW He loves me deeper than my soul can know.

if I truly love Him? my disappointment can be tempered by the knowledge that its another opportunity to humble myself. Christ did!! even to DEATH on a CROSS. (phil 2) surely, that was not His first happy choice. this is a chance to learn willing obedience. to imitate Jesus' example. to cling to believing that Love Itself is ordering my every step. He will only send or keep me where I am safe in HIS safety.

He's ordering the steps of those I love. to tell the best story of all time! If I TRULY love them, I won't assume I know the best chapters for thier lives. I'll trust God to do what He does best. I'll trust His love is greater than my own, even when things hurt those I love. I'll be free to rejoice with them too! with no thought of myself.

it doesn't stop the ache. all this thinking-puking-seeking God's perspective-when-I-want-to-scream. but. it eases the sting of disgusting self-revelation. keeps me from condemnation. from trying to fix or change myself. I've seen a side of me that craves adventure challenge new & exciting over loving selfless faithful service. both to my God and the weak. ugly? yep. permanent? doesn't have to be! & I do NOTHING to change it except open my hands.

I'm so grateful God lets us be human. He doesn't expect me to shut up my heart. He expects me to remember Him in midst of feeling. just asks me to bring it all to Him, look at His example, repent where I am selfish selfish selfish, & move on__ in His restorative heart-changing forgiveness. sweet grace.

I'm going to be better than ok. I'm going to have joy & delight. life is beautiful. ((but i am not there yet))