Sunday, September 28

On the Other Side

What happens when the words you have longed to hear, the ones way deep down inside, the ones you never told anyone, what happens when they are suddenly spoken back to you?  What happens when clouds of guilt and shame and fear begin to disappear?  What happens when the timing is finally right and long held prayers are answered...when the waiting is over and a new day begins?  

Inevitably those moments will come...the ones we thought would never really come....the ones on the other side of whatever we have been walking, running, trudging through....asking, why, when, how....where....who....what?  Our defining moments come in the midst of the midst of working it is the waiting that prepares us for what is to come.  But when the waiting is over....a new definition is set before our eyes.  We find Him to be the keeper of promises, the creator of dreams, the defender of hope, the author of deep and full and unique.  I am overwhelmed at His goodness....quieted by His faithfulness.

The Psalms say that hope fulfilled is a tree of life....I see that now.  The dreams and desires I have held inside....the plans I have wanted to make....the heart I have wanted to share....they are coming alive again.  Slowly and surely, with surprise and uncommon peace, all of a sudden and altogether, I am looking into eyes that make me sure...I am loved.

If only we understood the great love God has for us,  trusted that He never leaves us,  let Him be the strength where we are weak.  If only we believed that His love was enough.  I am seeing His love in ways I have not seen before.  I am humbled and challenged.  I am full of longing...full of hope...trying to rest in the assurance that everything really is as good as it seems.  

I wish I could put into words how thankful I am.

Saturday, September 27

Breathing In

I am breathing in the autumn air of a Saturday afternoon.  My window is open.  I sit here amongst blankets and pillows.  There are lesson plans to be written, papers to grade, bills to be paid, and all I can do is sit here and enjoy the peace.  The butterfly tree (the one I have mentioned before) shows slight signs of a color change.  And now there seems to be more hummingbirds zipping and zapping through the branches than there are butterflies.  

I have this weekend all to feels really nice.

Wednesday, September 24


There is so much we could be passionate about....politics, religion, art, medicine, money, sports, family, God...the list goes on and on.  When I sit down to really think about it, one thing comes to mind, I have been passionate about survival.  No really, I have, and now that I think about it, it's not really a great way to live.  

I went to school in order to get a good job.  I needed that job in order live a life.  And now that I am working, my life is full of time constraints, feelings of guilt for not getting it all done, long hours, etc.  

I am passionate about children, but how much of my day is spent being passionate about them? I get caught up in paperwork, meetings, and curriculum and there is a very small thought, deep down on the inside, that continues to ask, "but what is truly important?"

I watched some videos and read some excerpts from tonight.  I was appalled.  I was reminded that all is not as it should be.  I have listened to a close friend struggle through abuse and abandonment, and I know, that all is not as it should be.  I hear about little girls all over the world being passed around as a commodity for sex.  I want to do something about it.  I want girls and women to know that they have a choice....they have hope...that there is more than what they see right now.  I want them to know the love of God.

I am tired of being tired and worn out from chasing after some sense of daily accomplishment. I am tired of not having priorities straight and missing out on the joys of life.  I am tired of only hearing but not walking out the word of God that I know is in my heart to live.

If I could do anything in this 29th year of my life, it would be truly listen to what's important to the Lord, to really know Him above all else, and then to run with Him, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint, to rise up with wings like eagles as it says in Isaiah and to share this strength with those the Lord places in my life.  I want to bless His heart.  I want to see change.  I want to walk in love.  Order my steps in this new season, Lord.  Help me to find your joy.

Friday, September 19

Perfect Love

I have been afraid.
And I didn't even know it.

It started like this...well, maybe I'll skip that's a story all of us have lived at one point or another.  Right?  Some kind of disappointment, some kind of broken promise, some kind of broken heart along the way.

And so I guess at one point or another I had picked up the belief that vulnerability equals rejection.  Enter independence.

It's nice to be on my own.  I don't have anyone to answer to.  I make my own decisions, spend my own money, keep my own thoughts, fill my own time.  I don't have to worry about anyone else's opinions.  I don't have to be afraid that I will cause disappointment or disapproval.  I can be my own girl...follow where the wind takes me next.  It's very safe and very lonely all at the same time.

But total independence is not the way we were meant to live.  I had been wondering about that.  I had been asking if I would spend the rest of my life on my own....missing something but not quite able to put my finger on it...hoping for something but never really finding its attainment.  I was about to resign to it...almost feeling better because then at least I wouldn't have to face my imperfections in the reflections of someone else's opinion.  I wouldn't have to risk getting left behind...ever again.

I have been afraid.
And now I am being asked to face this fear...not so much in words but in the events that have come to pass.  I just keep thinking...won't it be nice when I am loved in light of all of my imperfections?  Won't it be nice when I can speak without fear of retaliation?

All this to say.  I look forward to seeing the other knowing the perfect love of God that casts out all fear.  I look forward to believing that love has come to stay.

Grace to Endure

Her phone call came in tonight as I sat in the car with my roomate.  She had already left two messages.  From the tone of her voice I knew that the news would not be good.  There have been few times when I have had heard something hopeful from her end of the phone.  And the thing is, I still contemplate not calling if somehow the news is not important enough for my attention, my time, my concern.  But it is important.  It has more importance than any kind of fear or issue in my own heart.

Her husband...the man who promised to love her almost 9 years ago now...continues to be chained to his consuming drug addiction.  Her son cries himself to sleep over broken promises.  And she, after years of standing by his side, taking the abuse and fighting this addiction, hears from him that he is seeing someone else.  And he is not fact, this time, he only brags about his affair.  

I tell her I'm sorry.  And truly I am...for what she is going through, what she has endured, for my own selfishness as I have walked this path with her.  God shows me His grace through her life.  He shows me His faithfulness in the midst of the worst circumstances.  Someday she will be at peace.  Someday she will know love.

When, Lord?  When will you come running to rescue her?  Or is it that you have been rescuing her all along?  I see glimpses of you...I hear the softening in her voice.  Be with you have been with me...rescue you have rescued me.   Give her the grace to endure.

Sunday, September 14

The Wind

I climbed into bed last night hoping for a good night of rest before church in the morning.  It has been a long week....a good week to say the least....but a week so full that I know I need some good rest.  As I began to drift off to sleep I heard the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees outside of my apartment.  The breeze sounded strong as if some type of storm would be passing through.  And in my mind I thought, "Ah, yes, the winds of change."

This is a season of change.  So much has changed in a very short period of time.  I am finding myself drawn to the Lord so strongly.  I am sure that His peace has been guiding and directing the steps that I am taking.  I am sure that I am right where He wants me to be.  It's funny how you can hope for something for what seems like your entire life and then when it comes, along with it comes the realization that this picture is so much bigger, so much more intricately planned, and so desperately reliant on the Lord.

At church this morning, the pastor began to talk about the wind....and the effects of it as it creates debris and removes old, dead branches from large trees.  He compared it to our lives and the wind of God's Spirit.  Using 1 Corinthians 6:9-11....he began to talk about the debris in our lives...the things we used to do, the unhealthy lifestyles, the disappointments, the hurts, etc.  These were the things that kept us from the kingdom of God.  But verse 11 says, "And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God."  

For the past two days I have thought about this very thing.  And I have sensed the Lord asking me if I trust Him.  Of course, I want to say yes right away...because in many ways I do.  In so many ways, I have been able to trust the Him and to let go of the past.  But I think the hardest part is being able to move forward without fear.  If there is any kind of obvious debris in my life I think it would have to do with that.  I don't want to be afraid to love fully and to receive it in return.  I don't want to be afraid to run after what God has put in my heart to do.  I don't want to be afraid of the thoughts of others.  I want to be free of fear.

And so this wind...this refreshing, strong, and steady blowing through my life.  And I am seeing it's effects.  It is causing those things that should not be here anymore to fall away.  It is clearing the way for new life to begin.  And I am so thankful.

Tuesday, September 9

The Whisper

I sat in the middle of Station Inn on Sunday night...a small, hole in the wall, dimly lit, full of tables and mismatched chairs, listening to a group of people who join together on most Sunday nights for the sheer joy of joining their instruments in the sounds of bluegrass.  It was beautiful and reminded me very much of the reason that I came to Nashville.

I'm not sure of a lot of things at this point in life, but there are a few things becoming clearer.  My life has been full of highs and lows.  It has been cluttered with loud and seemingly untamable voices.  Often times I have found myself striving more than I have been at peace. I have been wondering, am I really okay?  Can I really keep walking?  Should I really keep believing?  But Sunday night, as I sat among the tables and chairs, next to a very new friend, I was reminded of the peace of God.  I was reminded that He knows me, He knows my heart, He guides my steps.

I have been looking for a loud and clear sign.  I have been keeping an eye out for bells, whistles and amens from the chorus.  But on Sunday night, I heard His whisper.  

After the wind, the earthquake, and the fire...the whisper...the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.  I'm looking forward to the days ahead.

Sunday, September 7

Centennial Park

Kim and I went to Centennial Park tonight.  I never knew that movie-like parks existed.  First of was beautifully landscaped with green rolling banks and flowers and trees with a replica of the Parthenon in the middle.  Second of all, Shakespeare in the park was putting on their last performance of the summer.  Thirdly, there are double seated swings neatly placed where normally there would be benches.  And, lastly there was dancing.  There were probably at least 300 people gathered around one very large covered dance floor.  Hanging from the ceiling there are colored lanterns and lights.  And the played by a live band...I'm talking at least 20 instruments playing big band music...from swing to rumba to cha-cha, etc.  All generations are there...from small children to grandparents.  Families are having picnics...young people are out on dates...others are wishing they had brought a date, I am sure.  It's one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in Nashville....and it has been going on for 25 years.  There is a dance lesson...a dance just a whole large community of people who love to dance together every Saturday night throughout the summer.

I watched the people thinking about how creative God is.  I mean, he created each and every person.  Have you ever stopped to think about that?  He had us in mind.  He took His time and carefully thought about every part of us.  And so I look around me and I see Him in a whole new way.  I see how much he loves blue eyes, and red hair, and large noses.  I see how he creates tall statures and petite forms.  I see grace and beauty.  I see strength and laughter.  God is so amazingly beautiful to have thought up such a variety of people.  It makes me love Him more. :)

Wednesday, September 3

Birthday Wishes

Happy 50th Birthday, Mom!  I love you!!!
Doesn't she look great? :)