M.I.A.

sorry that i have been missing. so much is going on.

between home group. meeting on sunday night. saturday morning. having homework…i just dont have the extra time to write here. i will try to update as soon as i can. maybe tonight after i get off work.

oh, speaking of work…gotta go.

hasta.

70 things.

  1. people who wear white socks with black pants and black shoes have officially made their way onto my list of pet peeves.
  2. i cannot stand peas. of any sort.
  3. in 2006, i was in germany during the world cup. amazing.
  4. i have a thing for words. when i go to the movie theater i take a journal so that i can write down memorable things that are said.
  5. mowed grass is my favorite smell. if you are riding in the car with me and i see someone mowing grass just go ahead and roll down the window.
  6. usually, i am not very patriotic…don’t get me wrong, i appreciate America, i just don’t get all misty-eyed when the star spangled banner is played. but, there are certain moments when the patriotism does get into my eyes and make them water. its not often, but occasionally.
  7. i really do have a photographic memory.
  8. when i was little and people would ask me what i wanted to be when i grew up i would respond with “a dinosaur.” and then shortly after that phase it turned into “i want to be a star. like a twinkle, twinkle little star.” neither happened. obviously.
  9. i have a passport that isn’t full. i want to remedy that.
  10. at the battle of the Alamo, i had relatives on both sides. so, either way, i won.
  11. thunderstorms amaze me.
  12. i play trumpet and french horn fairly well. teaching myself guitar.
  13. thirteen is my lucky number. i was born on a friday the 13th. one year playing softball, i hit in the 13th run with 13 minutes left to play. every sports team i was ever on my number was 13. one year i cut my ankle open(see number 15) and had to get 13 stiches. and my birthday this year is on a friday…the 13th.
  14. my senior year of high school i was the quarterback and team captain for my powder puff football team.
  15. when i was 8, and taking swimming lessons, climbing out of the pool…using the metal ladder, my foot got stuck and i almost cut my achilles tendon. 13 stitches.
  16. when i was 12, i wrote a story about my grandpa being my hero…it was published in the newspaper.
  17. summertime always makes me think of slip-and-slides.
  18. i got kicked out of girl scouts and pre-school…i have had issues with authority for awhile. its not a new thing J
  19. i cannot sing worth a flip, but i am in no way tone deaf.
  20. something about water stirs my heart. lakes, rivers, ponds, there is just something about it that brings me joy.
  21. i have a james avery ring that i have worn for over 8 years.
  22. i wrecked a friends moped into the back of a Volvo and Ford F150. i flipped over the handlebars and proceeded to eat the parking lot. the vehicles definitely won.
  23. i still think the boogey-man lives in my closet and under my bed. so therefore, at night my closet must be closed and i cant put my feet down beside my bed…i must jump onto my bed from far away, or jump off my bed to far away.
  24. i sing the star spangled banner after i flush the toilet. although, if i am in public, i sing it in my head.
  25. i hate stupid worksheets in school. aka- busy-work.
  26. whenever i hear the name/word ‘selena’ i feel the need to break into sobs, real or fake, because that’s what every other mexican does when the name is spoken.
  27. i have the desire to be fluent in german and asl. (american sign language)
  28. somehow, if it is raining, you can almost bet money on the fact that my window is rolled down. dont ask me how this happens, it just does.
  29. i swallowed a quarter once. they had to go in and get it,…it didn’t just resurface
  30. i would like to write a book…
  31. in regards to that, i do write in a journal religiously.
  32. i once had a border collie/blue heeler mix…her name was rylie.
  33. i once went on a trip with my family to Wyoming. during the trip i saw mt. rushmore, old faithful, the badlands, and the majority of Yellowstone.
  34. my first flight was 9.5 hours, to Frankfurt, Germany. i threw up.
  35. i am afraid of wide open spaces,…deserts and oceans and space freak me out
  36. i bite my fingernails. i don’t want to, but i do…
  37. a friend seriously did talk me into moving 2.5 hours away from home. and no, it wasn’t for a boy…just for life.
  38. i am an honorary UMHB crusader for life.
  39. law and order.
  40. some people hate pretzels and say they taste like cardboard…I LOVE THEM!!!
  41. camping is amazing…we used to go camping every summer, like clockwork.
  42. when i grow up, i want to have an entire wall in my house with built in bookshelves and have the bookshelves be completely full.
  43. i am certified in CPR and first aid…i just might save your life
  44. chai tea, milk, and sugar…delightful
  45. i have gotten tattoos on four different occasions.
  46. my grandmother is on the city council, and my aunt works with the police department…can you imagine the headlines if i ever got caught?!
  47. i cant speak Spanish, but i have somehow learned a few Spanish tongue twisters
  48. apparently, i laugh a lot…that’s a good thing
  49. for the first time ever i feel half-way intelligent in my science class.
  50. when i was younger, while the other girls were playing dress-up, experimenting with their mom’s make-up, and playing with dolls, i was in the back yard attempting to shoot cans off the fence with my BB guns.
  51. green olives are grand, black olives are just alright.
  52. my toes are super little…my sister calls my feet “barney rubble” feet, and continually reminds me that they should be peddling in Bedrock or something.
  53. i must be doodling or drawing or writing something unrelated to the topic in order to pay attention to whatever is being said. if my hands aren’t busy, i cant hear you
  54. i have to really be craving chocolate to eat it…i am not a huge fan. is that a bad thing, considering i am a girl?
  55. for some reason, lasagna grosses me out. maybe it’s the lumpy cheese in it…probably just a texture thing, cause i do like spaghetti.
  56. when i move to germany, and i will, i may have withdrawals from dr. pepper.
  57. every time i pick up a writing utensil, my handwriting is different.
  58. sometimes i sleep in a sleeping bag on my floor, or even sometimes with the sleeping bag on my bed…it makes me feel like i am traveling.
  59. i have never been to the east or the west coast…only up the middle.
  60. one day i should make friends who live in new york, d.c., san francisco, chicago, st. louis, seattle,…basically all the large cities in the US, so that i can visit them and have a place to stay for free J
  61. when growing up, we lived in the country and people would frequently drop their dogs off right outside the city limits, so for a long time, we never had to actually buy a dog…they would just wander up.
  62. if i could be a photographer for national geographic, i would.
  63. the past few nights have been full of very vivid dreams…
  64. sarcasm is my love language…really, i think sarcasm is a character flaw, wit on the other hand is mighty fine!
  65. half of the things i claim to know, i really don’t. i am just good at making it sound like i do. i make it up as i go. confidence is key.
  66. my hair is naturally curly. i straighten it every day. its a pain!!!
  67. on feb. 11, 2004, i got the best birthday present ever.
  68. i cant drink milk without feeling sick to my stomach…
  69. i dream big…sometimes its annoying, and sometimes it gets me into trouble, but i’ve just got to believe there is more than this…i’ve got to have hope.
  70. “two steps forward…one step back…hey, that’s a step forward!!”

“LIVE!!”

i’ll just stick to one particular theme that keeps sweeping through my mind. whats next? like, with my life. right now, i am being completely blessed with a very godly, wise, patient woman to walk with me through some things in my life and in meeting with her this past week she posed a question that i honestly had no answer to. and that scared me. “do you have a vision for your life?” and with that, i felt like someone drove a semi onto my chest and parked it there.

my birthday is in less than a month. and the birthdays just keep coming. every birthday my step-dad always says something along the lines of “i never thought you’d make it this far.” and usually, i just write him off. you know, just one the stupid things he says to give me a hard time. but for some reason i am thinking about it. and its not even my birthday, and he hasn’t said it yet. i wonder why…

in all honesty, for the first time ever, i think i have figured out why i am having such a hard time with a vision, a goal. its because i never thought i’d make it this far. after years of being so foolish, so stupid, i never thought 23 would get here and i for sure never operated under the idea of actually having a future and a hope or desire for a vision. and yet, here i am. just a couple weeks away from a birthday thats coming whether i thought it would or not.

the story in ezekiel 16 keeps coming to my mind. and so here you go, i will give you a quick recap of the chapter. the entire chapter of ezekiel 16 is an analogy of israel-the Lords faithless bride. the author compares the nation to a baby, us, who was left out in a field to die. the baby is left, in its own blood and not one person stops to help, no one pities the baby, no one cares, or even notices. and then the Lord passes by and saw the baby, saw us, in our blood a He said “LIVE!” and then after He commands us to live, He clothes us and feeds us and made a covenant with us. He made us beautiful and the world knew our beauty because of Him who bestowed it on us.

so here i am. at this point after He speaks into my dead heart and commands me to “live!” and now what? i feel as though i have been dead so long that the thought of life is overwhelming to me. i’ve heard the stories of prisoners who have been released from prison and they just can’t live life outside of prison. they freak out, commit crimes in order to go back. life on the outside is simply overwhelming to them. i can relate. i don’t know what it means to live. what do i do? sometimes its so overwhelming that i find myself acting out in ways that i used to operate in vain attempts to get back to what i know, what is familiar…no matter how much it stinks of death. there is most definitely  a war raging in me between the Spirit of God and the flesh. i never thought i would make it this far, so i have never thought about what i would do. i never imagined life. and here i am, praise Christ, pleading with Him to show me, guide me, help me. but here i am. almost at another birthday. and He has called me from death to life. its a fact.

i am praying for a vision for my life. thats step one. i dont have to have it all figured out tonight. or tomorrow even. but i am begging Him for just the first step. pray with me?  He called me from death to life. and i am asking Him for courage to live

processing.

i know i said i was going to blog every day. so this is me keeping my commitment.

although, so much happened today and this weekend that i havent had sufficient time to process all of it. just bear with me until tomorrow and i will try to post what i have processed.

know that i love you, whoever you are.  and i am praying big things.

sleep.

this week i havent been sleeping well. and last night a rush of visitors was scheduled to come parading through my apartment. so i decided to head to a friends to crash. it was glorious. slept well. and then today, all i have wanted to do is sleep. i am afraid i am getting sick. i am cold. then all of a sudden, hot. and i cant seem to keep my eyes open. so, i am laying here on the couch. probably about to eat some dinner and go to bed. i’ll see you later.

no condemnation.

exhaustion.

that word has seemed to plague me this week. and i hate that.

actually, i have mixed emotions about it. i know why its here and i also know that for my good i cannot allow it to stay. i am praying for a breath of air. a long, deep, life-giving breath. and at this moment, i am willing to fight for it.

every week for the past 7 months i have been staring my sin straight in the face 3 days a week. its been a hardcore staring contest that i have not won. each week i regurgitate my sins and struggles in 3 different arenas, and honestly, thats a lot. no wonder i am exhausted. i am sitting in my junk far too often. now, don’t hear me say that its not important to recognize and be aware of sin in our lives, i most assuredly think its of utmost importance. i just don’t think thats where we need to stay.

in the gospel of John, a story is told of a woman caught in the middle of her sin. adultery. she, void of clothes, is then drug out into the open streets where people begin to mock and criticize. people stop and stare. her sin is no more a secret. there is no chance of hiding now. and she knows it. so she stays in the dirt. men around her are picking up stones while quoting passages out of the Law of Moses. “this is what the law says, what do you say, Jesus?” she is surprised when she sees Jesus kneel down beside her and start to write in the dirt. i think its important to realize that Jesus didn’t rush to pick this woman up the moment she landed in the dirt. there is a time to be almost painfully aware of our sin. naked and bare before all. but, it is of much greater importance to then here Jesus speak into our brokenness “neither do I condemn you. go, and sin no more.” its then, at that moment when we realize there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, that we are able and even called to get up, out of our sin and shame and guilt and every other emotion that rushes over us in that moment, and move forward in pursuit of the Lord.

so thats where i am right now. i am going to get up. and i am going to leave my shame and guilt there in the dirt. Jesus has called me to rise and to go and walk in forgiveness. so, with His help, i will begin to walk that direction. i am looking in his face. pleading that the distractions will disappear in the light of His worth and glory.

praying that He would become my treasure.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair” -csl

a blog a day. that was my intention. so here i am. i dont have a lot to say.

actually, i’ve got nothing to say.

headed to a place of rest and restoration tonight, hoping to find both.

pray for me if you think about it. actually, dont. pray for Haiti. pray that the gospel would go forth and light would push out whats dark. pray that people would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

plead with the Lord to save.
He does.
i’m proof.

dream fufilled.

i want to make a difference. i want my 50 or so years to mean something. somehow, i hope that my story will be a light to those who sit in darkness, a small glimer of hope to those who have long since written off the idea of the dawn. i hope those who feel that grace cannot reach them can be encouraged by my story – that there is always enough grace. grace to enjoy the day, or grace to be sustained through it. but there is always enough. always sufficient.

i desire that making much of Him will be my dream fufilled.

i hope for so much, but sometimes i am just blinded by the darkness that i refuse to move and i just sit on my hands. help me, Jesus.

in the end i hope to be bruised and battered so that my kids dont have to fight these battles. i want to be able to look back and praise our Great God and King for all He has done and all He will continue to do.

the offer.

something thats been swirling around in my head a lot lately.

“what if we began to see confession and repentance not so much as a threat but as the greatest offer of all time?”

i am entering a season of confession and repentance in hopes of knowing the Lord more deeply, trusting Him more fully, walking in joy and peace more consistently, and looking more like Him in the end. historically i have been afraid of confession and repentance because i have always looked at it as though i was losing something. part of me even. yes, all the things i was and am walking in are not good for me, or for my good, but they have become comfortable and familiar. so instead of walking into this season fearful of all the things the Lord will strip from me and take away, i have decided to walk into this with the vision of all that the Lord may be pleased to give me. life. depth. joy. peace. faith. trust. hope. wisdom. freedom. healing. and in the end He may just be pleased to give me more of Himself. and that in itself is worth the loss of all.

a friend of mine sent me this verse recently and i have been pondering it. take a look:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalm 139:23-24

if you are unfamiliar with this particular chapter, let me give you a little insight. the chapter begins with “O Lord, you have searched me and known me” and continues describing how the Lord knows when we sit and lie down. when we wake up and when we go to sleep. it rightly states that we cannot go anywhere where the Spirit of the Lord is not with us. when we are afraid that things look dark around us, this chapter reminds us that “even the darkness is not dark” to Him. the psalmist then proclaims that the Lord is the one who knit us together when we were being formed in our mothers womb. he saw our frame and intricately wove us together in the depths of the earth. before we ever breathed our first breath the Lord know every one of our days and had even written them down. (p.s. how crazy is that!) and then, after all this about how the Lord knows all, created all, and is in all, the psalmists begs the Lord to search him and show him where he falls short – where he fails attain what God has called him to. after all, the Lord has called us to “be holy, for He is holy”(leviticus 11:44). the psalmist knew this. he would have been quite familiar with the old testament and because he was, he knew that he had missed the mark.

so, back to the verse at hand. the writer of this couldn’t possibly sit there and proclaim the depths of the wisdom of God and then turn around and ask God to search Him and find out things He didn’t know. its not as though i can ask the Lord to search me, and then He does and He all of a sudden sees my sin and iniquities. He knew they were there from the beginning. i mean, doesn’t it say “before a word is on my tongue you know it altogether”(psalm 139:4) HE KNOWS ALL! HE CREATED ALL! HE IS IN ALL! He knows we are broken. He knows the wickedness of our hearts. so that’s why part of me, the majority of me, has started to see this verse differently. i believe that this verse is more of us lining ourselves up with the way things are. aligning our hearts with Gods heart. confessing that we are broken. confessing that we have failed to measure up. confessing that we have missed the mark. begging Him to reveal the brokenness that we don’t even know is there. pleading with Him to show us the places our hearts have deceived us. we aren’t asking Him to search us so that He can know whats going on. we ask Him to search us so that we can know whats going on. so that we can see things that need to be confessed of. so that we can repent and be led “in the way everlasting”(psalm129:24)

maybe confession and repentance isn’t a threat after all. maybe its an offer to line ourselves up with the One who alone is wise – to line ourselves up with the One who knit us together in the depths of our mothers womb. its the offer to be led in the way everlasting…so that we may be made holy even as He is holy.

what an offer…

“and we wont relent.”

so, this year i have decided to follow the Liturgical Calendar as closely as i can. i dont know that i will be following day by day readings and what-not, but i will be observing all of the different “seasons”, focusing on and meditating on what each one is designed to reveal about Christ. i would love to give you a bit of an overview of these seasons, but it may be more clearly understood if i just let you in on what JR Vassar has to say…:

Advent is the expectancy of the Coming Savior into time and history and into our lives. During Epiphany we see His glory revealed in his words and works. We are forced to face the striking revelation of God in Him. That revelation leads us to an acknowledgment of our sin during the season of Lent. During Lent we give focused attention to repentance and realignment with Jesus and His Kingdom. As Lent comes to a close we are reminded of the relief from sin that is found in the Cross of Jesus and the new life we have in Him by virtue of his resurrection. Easter is not simply a Sunday where we are dressed in our finest, but a season where we celebrate the Victory of Christ and His power at work in our lives and in the world bringing life where there was death. Pentecost commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit that empowers us for witness in the world. We focus on this mission to the world all year round, but during Ordinary Time we give it special emphasis.

my hope in this- focusing on specific themes revolving around the life of Christ- is that through time of reflection, self-examination, dedicated time to prayer and fasting, the Lord would be gracious and reveal more of Himself  to me. during the season of Lent, i will also be walking through the step studies at my church and pleading with the Lord to reveal my sin, cleanse me from all unrighteousness, and heal and restore things that are broken in me.

i am pleading with Him. for me…and for you.

pleading that He would show us our hearts, reveal our sin, heal what is broken, restore the places we have been ravaged by guilt and shame, and that He would become our treasure – our prize. i am pleading…begging.

and i wont relent.