Sunday, December 31, 2006

Clean slates..

Woah, as I was contemplating it being on the brink of a new year and the weather outside I had a flashback with a scratchy homemade recording of me and other kids singing, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus........Make me white as snow.."

I have noticed that rising up of anticipation this year for the holidays. I was so cheery and ready for Christmas this year. I have hated my own grinchness and reluctance in some past years. This year the presents were wrapped, the decorations were done, the Christmas songs were searched for and I waited with gladness for the fsmily to arrive and for the day to be here. As a child I would often get sick to the point of throwing up on the day of because I had hardly slept and was wo worked up with anticipation.

We had 8 people in my sisters apartment and more presents than I have ever seen. We had to find the manger so we could wrap the baby Jesus. It is our traditions where on Christmas morning each family member unwraps a layer and then at the very end th youngest answers the questions, "Why do we open the baby Jesus first? Because it was God's gift to us, to the world, the very first Christmas gift, what it's all about." Some variation of that. So anyway we had no room for the nativity that my mom brought for my sister. We halfway joked about putting it on the deck, looking in the glass door and I eventually did. So once again there was no room at the inn.

The poor baby Jesus and party were rushed into the bathtub this morning as they were covered in snow. The poor sheep lost his ear in the process. It was a rough and windy morning.

I couldn't sleep last night. I stayed awake for a very late movie (Goal) which is unheard of, as you know my sleeping during movies issue Then I played about until 8 this morning. I saw the snow at 6 or so but it continued on. I have smirked a bit as others have had it piling up and we have gone with purely rain. Now it is our turn. I notice a sense of excitement in me for today, for tomorrow. I know we can start new and make new goals everyday and some would say it is silly to be tricked by culture to think it is special day. I love the dream of new beginnings. It allows me to relax today and look forward to discipline tomorrow. It makes me dream a swell in the story may be mysteriously close. I want to take a bubble bath, get dressed up, journal for hours of past refelctions and lists of hopes and wonders for the future. I want to play games with friends and try to come up with new ways to make our time together meaningful, purposeful. I want to make these days go as slow as possible before work, schedules and neglected projects creep back in, spinning time hour by hour.

I have been trying to stop my brain these last couple days from thinking if I only wish or pray hard enough the story I caught a glimpse of might be decided upon to come true. I hate thinking what if, even if it is so odd of a thought and then knowing it just might happen and yet knowing it is silly to keep re-thinking it and searching. I see myself as the girl sneaking into the authors study as he is out by the fireplace. I keep looking for some clue, wondering if this was forshadowing at all. I try to look for books on the shelf about how to make your story come true, how to insert something, how to hope that other characters are on the same path and that by some crazy twist of fate I have stumbled upon a part of my story with my eyes wide open. I am hoping this will be the year of apprenticeship, that the Father will help me understand what co-authoring is all about. It would be so much easier if it wasn't my very own story. It's so personal, we can't seperate our desires. I don't know ow to sit calm, to wait, to accept strange suggestions. I guess it is good to be engaged, to be effected. He'll just have to know sometimes I'll have to close my eyes, too anxious about what appears next.

I like the number 7. We get a brand new year. We could never write or imagine what will come in this one year.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Now...... now....

At first I had the thought "and go" and it evolved into the now... now... like when you are waiting to jump into the rythm of a jump rope. I said I was going to take a step toward the Elementary school and that I did on Monday. Fifteen minutes later I was the new employee for the afternoon position they had just discovered that day had been overlooked. I had made comments earlier in the summer like I need a job with kids where I can just take them swimming and have spontaneous fun. Well I take my little kindegarten and first graders swimming three days a week and get to plan some spontaneous fun for them the other two days.
They are adorable,have unique names and personalities and are of all nationalities. One of my kids gets a little out of line, doing what you ask? He constantly does cartwheels! I had to stop him on the pool deck as did many others. He is so good at it and just springs from one right into another.
I feel drawn to God today, like I want to slide under his arm into a tight side hug/hold. I guess God must be taller, let's hope anyway or all of you will have to get down on your knees. I realized at EDGE tonight that I have that feeling today that I have had before when I am interested in a guy or a new friend. It's that curiosity, the intigue, the little half-smile that gives away how you are just plain excited about the little piece of mystery that has been unveiled. I love that I will never know everything about him, endless opportunties to explore.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When drops become streams...

I love when you look back at an amount of time and realize how something has slowly invaded. I have been juggling the summer job thing, my life path, other personal aspects and have been praying and wating in various ways. Well in the last few days thoughts of foreign places and images of children have crept back in.
I got a call last week about returning to work with the Elementary school, which is full of refugee families. I brushed it off a bit and thought maybe later. Now from all that has been triggered in the last couple of days I am seriously reevaluating if that is the direction which may be best for a part-time job. I am going to at least take a step this week and find out what position they might have for me and when.
I watched Invisible Children Friday night. It reminded me of so many things, of my time in Africa and my hearts reaction to the documentary 'Born Into Brothels.' Even though teaching has slipped a bit from my radar it seems there is still a passion and draw in me toward children. When I watched 'Mad Hot Ballroom' I was even significantly moved and that is not as much about meeting the same needs.
It reopened a lot of categories and questions. I was a bit frantic as I have this feeling that it is going to fade away so quickly. That the ways my heart was stirred my overwhelming compulsion to do something, to pray long and hard... that I will too quickly forget before it has been captured or channeled in some way. I honestly cannot very easily adjust back to life as we know it without these reoccuring thoughts in my mind of what is happening other places, how God will redeem what looks to be irreversable, what answered prayers or God being behind something looks like outside the US. I keep wondering what things has God done that we don't credit to him. I kept thinking about blowing up the pictures I have from Africa and China of the faces so I don't forget. I think the kid saying don't forget about us was like a haunting flashback of the conversations I had with so many kids and people in the places I have been.
Then in church today a great guy we know shared about the gods that people are worshipping in foreign places. It makes me sad that they are living out of fear and that they are so persistant but about such terrible things. I kept wondering how do we even communicate that they don't have to live out of fear. Like a lady not talking about being pregnant for fear of hexing her unborn child. I can see people from here being ridiculous and saying hey let's talk about your baby on the way, don't worry nothing will happen.
I guess in so many of these it has brought me back to God in my own feeling of helplessness. I believe he brings our different passions together to address the big picture but some of it seems so much bigger than us that it is tempting to not even start or move, to just sit in sadness. That is where the dependance on him and belief that I can only do my part, believing that other parts will come together... That redemption is coming and is happening even if I cannot make out the clearest pictures of it. Now my part: what is it now, what is even the next step... where will I be down the road, will my part look different... I know many of those I can't know so I go back to my thankfulness for the realization that a few drops have again become a stream in my life.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Switchfoot agreed...

"We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?"
I love when you find others are thinking through similar wave-lengths at the same time.
A friend e-mailed me and was talking about how he gets worried about being too comfortable in life. He wants to really impact people's lives and wants to live adventurously without grueling hours in a job that doesn't seem headed in that direction. Through many words it was the overall question of what is life about? What path to take? He knows that God will lead but there is that restlessness. A blogger friend had traces of similar things with the hope of being about more than the routine that is right before us, the job, family, stay in your self-contained world and live happy.
I have been back to the wrestling mat on this issue. I think looking for a summer job, for added income has brought up a lot of questions. Do I just do anything? Do I base them on pay? More than $7 an hour? What sacrifices do I make? Is there anything which would pay and be able to utilize my strengths? Do I wait for something else? Where do I look? Am I running away or being guided by my own worries? It has been a bit of a restless week.
I was glad to be back at Challenge planning, feeling somewhat productive, but I still wasn't connecting. I started thinking if I stop doing Challenge down the road I will really have to find a new path for my life, at least provisionally. All this talk lead to my sister asking if I was going to be dissapointed in her if her life did appear that way? A regular job, family, house.. I said no because she does live missionally. Her relationship is ingrained in everything she does. It has made me wonder what I am expecting since it's true I have kind of repelled away from that idea ,in some ways, for my own life. I don't want to fall asleep... live for myself. How do I live right now? What is it that I am imagining? What is the day-to-day life about?
Another writer that I feel a connection to on these things is Dan H.? on Relevant. He is the Jars of Clay guy. He just thinks deep and puts the struggles right out there. I always look forward to diving into his articles, knowing they will be thick with thought. Musings of the day...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Longings... Part 2

Another friend told me about a sermon at his church on Isaiah 64. It was about "pressing problems" and how often the things we bring to others and God are not really the root issue that is bothering us. He meets us where we are at but turns us toward the root issues that lie beneath. I think this is so true!
Sometimes I get too caught up in it, trying to see what is really screaming out from my heart. I know God already knows the things which we are really groaning about. I think taking a deeper look helps us see how he answers our prayers clearer. It also makes us aware of parts of us where we really need to be transformed.
The example I thought of is how I talk to my girls when they are dying to be in a relationship. I hear their anguish but sometimes we can get at what is causing it to seem like such a pressing issue at the time. Sometimes it is lonliness or feeling undesireable. We think having someone is surely the best solution to those problems. Sometimes God doesn't choose to move in that way at that time but he does bring others around you to address your lonliness or he reminds you of your true identity through scripture, conversations with friends, music... If we are just looking for the solution we have come up with we are going to miss how God is reaching out or something he is trying to work in you right at the moment.
I want to be exposed to myself, I want to see what I am longing for. I want to stand with God and have my eyes open as he looks over me in my vulnerable, exposed state. He can make sense of it so much better than me and he whispers the hope of what could and will be.


"What if the deepest longings of your heart were there for a reason?"

This is a quote off the back of one of my favorite books, Searching for God Knows What. It has brought attention to the small trickles in my brain tonight. A friend asked: What is one dream you have that you hope comes true. I am quite the dreamer, so I always have a jumbled pile of all the things I believe could happen and I hope with anticipation that they will somehow materialize. It was hard to answer. I guess if I keep them all together I am happy when one comes true but if I focus in on one it is frustrating and risky.
My mind can go crazy and as a girl's mind does, it spins a million scenarios with the littlelest details. It also reminds me of my sense of powerlessness. I have really been dissapointed in myself when I have tried to make my own dreams come true. It has been much less stressful and much more exciting and fulfilling when God has taken the initiative and I experience it with him, doing my part to respond and be active in what is happening but not manipulate and poke and prod at the situation.
All this to say I told my friend that I hope one day I find that all my writing was for a reason. I love to write and when given the chance to journal or respond to things I could write pages and pages and often do. It just flows out. It makes me sad sometimes to think what is this for? Is it just for me? Just a release or process? I would love if all this time I was just being in the stage God had for me and actually with the right timing I could pull some things together and actually write a book. I finally decided even if it were never published it is worth it to create the masterpiece I see in my mind. It is the joy of producing that which you are compelled to do.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

One step at a time...

Well I stand with a foot in each world. Half of you are in this blogger world and the other are still behind in the livejournal world. I wanted to get this going so I could comment to friends. You can find my previous writings at:
I may make the leap one of these days.