there’s no end to affection you have for me!

My nephew was born a few weeks ago and I was so honored to be a part of that process. I’ve relived it so many times and each memory is precious.

Noah can’t talk, he can’t think cognitively, he doesn’t know how to interact with others. But he is my favorite person in the whole world. I am happiest when I’m holding him; he is the best part of me. I can’t explain that, and honestly I don’t want to psychoanalyze it. There is a beautiful simplicity to our relationship right now, and I believe it is more than enough to fill up my heart for a lifetime.

He came out of my cousin and into the world with blood and screaming and tears. He will most likely experience blood and screaming and tears sometime in his life. But his very existence in this world is a miracle. He survived the blood and screaming and tears, he lives in spite of everything he has experienced so far. This is what I am learning from him. In all of the mess of his birth he is a beautiful survivor.

And this is the grace in it all: That God sees me like I see Noah. I am a mess, bloody and screaming and filled with angry tears. At times I am not happy with anything He does for me. But I know that his heart fills up with love when he looks at me, when he holds me and kisses my cheek. The very breath in my lungs is air he breathed first. I look like him, I sing like him, maybe I even talk like him. And every interaction with me makes his heart swell. Even when all I’m doing is breathing, he is so proud of me.

Do you see? It is never because of what we do. His heart fills with love for us because of who we are.

It will never be about how dirty we are, or how much we cry, or how needy we think we are. It’s about the fact that he is our Daddy, and he can’t help himself. He just loves us because we are his kids. It’s beautiful and simple and wonderful and radical.

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the violet hour.

I have taken an inordinate amount of time to update this blog. I believe the last time I wrote was in April, and so much has changed and is still changing. My life right now has a beautiful rhythm mixed with some intense moments. But it’s late summer, my house smelled like baked apples all afternoon, the sun shines in spite of the fog, and we are wondrously adaptable creatures. 

There are beautiful moments in my life and I have been challenged lately to start keeping track of these moments. Things that make me happy, ways in which I take joy in life, the reflective pauses in the midst of small sweetnesses. 

selah.

The strains of Debussy’s Clair de Lune floats around the cricket’s and cicada’s concerto from the trees outside. My room makes me feel like Anne Shirley. “Love conquers all” decal above my door is a beautiful reminder every time I walk out (also, I kerned the letters well when I put it up.) The tiny orchard outside my window gives off a sweet fragrance in the heat of the day. The September Issue of Vogue came in the mail today, and with it came free perfume samples. Campfires with lovely people are so calming. Trip planning is exhilarating.

selah. 

So much more. My life is so blessed. 

But I’ve been thinking lately about why it matters that I recognize that I’m blessed. I think it’s because I can get easily caught into the trap of discontent and forget that I am rich with friends and family and beautiful things around me. My life is made up of beauty, regardless of how it appears. The things in my life are beautiful because I say they are. Isn’t that what God did every time he created something? He made it, looked it over, and called it “good.” The world is horribly screwed up, but it is also beautiful because he said so. I have a say in how I view my environment, in how it interacts with me.

And I say, “it is good!” 

the dirt above and below me.

“Can I be used to help others find truth when I’m scared that I’ll find proof that it’s a lie?” Nicklecreek

Please forgive me for time that I’ve wasted. I feel that there has been so much more I could have done in my life. I have not listened as much as I could have. People have not always, or ever, been my first priority. But I see this and I hate it. And I wish I could change it. Because you’re beautiful. And you’re worth getting to know. And you have so much to offer in friendship. I just feel like there needs to be an apology.

There is such beauty in sitting with Jesus in silence. Like watching a sunset with the one I love. It’s calming, purifying. I’ve been pulled into this deep silence for the past day or so. Words are so arbitrary. He knows me. It’s just enough to be with him, in this state of stillness.

It’s not always perfect quietude. Sometimes I just start thinking in questions, which I know is okay, but it’s different than our regular discourse. I’ve always been so chatty with him, not really thinking too much about what I tell him, but really enjoying the conversation. But lately I’ve been asking things like, “Did it hurt when your blood started pumping through your veins again when you rose from death? Like when my leg falls asleep?” and “What color was Adam’s hair?”

We know that these things don’t really matter in the long run, but I enjoy being three years old again asking questions about things the heavenly beings encounter all the time.

I also ask him a lot about myself. For instance, I am currently hung up on the question, “why do I cower in fear and terror every time someone is angry with me?” I’ve been asking this for a long time. It has a lot to do with my childhood experiences, this much I know. I just hate that I can never stand up for myself even when I am in the right. The moment I feel anger directed toward me I emotionally run to my hiding places like a four year old girl. If only people would stop being angry when they see how scared I am. But it usually ends with me feeling like I’ve been stuffed in my locker again.

I suppose that reaction will follow me the rest of my days. And that’s okay with me, as long as I don’t have many bullies in my life. That’s another thing I’m quietly contemplating with Jesus.

i am redeemed.

no metre. just words.

You have conquered me.
You overwhelm me.
Your presence is astounding.
Your very breath is beauty.
Your heart beats in my chest.
Your spirit flows in my veins.
Your love lifts me to your face
To be kissed by the lover of all.
To hold your hand, to be with you.
Is there another like you?
They are imitators of the great one,
Their love is an imitation of the greatest love.
My eyes cannot stray from yours.
To gaze on you is my very existence.
Your desire is for me,
Beyond my ability to return.
But oh, I try. Jesus you are mine.
Words, oh, words fill up this heart,
Things I cannot say in an audible voice.
My tongue is in capable of expressing
The gratefullness of me, the magestic wonder of you.
That you pursue me, run after me,
Pull me to your heart, under your arms,
In perfect connection with your beauty.
It is amazing, this love.
Your tenderness, the way you so carefully
Have intertwined my heart with yours.
You take me deeper into yourself
With a touch so intimate, so perfectly
Tailored to my own heart.
All there is left is you.
My very cells are under your power,
Coming into allignment with your perfection.
Your desires for me are greater than I can plan.
What you have joined together – soul with spirit-
No one can separate.
I am redeemed, brand new by the power of your great love.
I am redeemed.

but nothing unifies like a common enemy.

This is a post about why I do not have political leanings. It may make you angry, it may make you delighted. You may respect me more because of it, or you may plot my untimely death in a manner befitting our depth of relationship. It’s your choice, but I do ask that you allow me to have my views, or lack thereof.

You may be aware that I do not support certain popular causes. I don’t think it’s morally right to take a life, no matter how old that life may be. I think that our troops have a very difficult job and I can’t even begin to imagine the psychological aftermath in following the kinds of orders they are given daily. I believe that the earth is a precious gift that we all have taken too lightly. I don’t support the import of foreign goods when those goods could easily be manufactured in our own country. And I don’t agree with the popular belief that immigrants should have to learn English in order to live in the United States.

But when I try to explain to others that none of those things affect my political position, somehow the dots do not connect. So let me provide a little clarity, if not for you than for myself.

It seems that every four years I am surrounded by people who make it their business to complain about the political candidates. Sometimes they even start arguing with me about their new person-of-interest, taking my stalwart silence as carte blanche to tear into my supposed apathy.

I’d like to say that not holding to any particular political party is the easy way out. Honestly, I think it’s very difficult. It’s difficult to stay objective when you’re told that your religious belief is only as good as your vote; when you see families torn apart because of some political rift. When the hate is all that stands out in any of the TV ads it’s hard to stay objective.

The destructive words, scandals, lies, manipulative statements, self-serving benefit events, the silky smooth smiles, starched and pressed dress pants, devoted wives. It all seems so calculated, positioned specifically for dramatic effect. Just the supporters alone could make a person not want to be counted among them.

So it is with an earnest desire to live my own life outside the whirlpool of opinions that I tell you today: I do not care who is president. I do not care what they do as president. It is none of my business what has occurred in their past. I have no say in their personal beliefs, and they have no say in mine. They will do their job as we all must do ours. But I will respect and support whomever is in authority over me. I will not hinder their creativity, I will not slander their character, I will not degrade their person just because I do not agree with them.

And I will not associate with anyone who does.

they say that the captain stays fast with the ship

Lack of motivation has always been a problem for me. I can be so inspired one day and so apathetic the next. It’s incredible. It also doesn’t help that I have to blog from my mobile phone instead of the computation machine that I don’t have yet. Do you know how frustrating autocorrect can be?
But I digress.

There are things I want to say, but don’t because I have the very exasperating impulse to make everyone think I’m Switzerland. If I do take a stand it seems that it has become the new sport to try to shoot me down with as much complex wit as possible. I can handle my sarcasm, almost as much as I can handle flying an airplane.
I have always felt a bit overwhelmed and disgusted with sarcastic wit, at least the kind that degrades and objectifies others. But it has become vogue to put people down. The conversational style of selfish abandon has become a hindrance to compassion and selfless love. Do we really value our opinions to such a degree that we are willing to sacrifice the friendships of those around us?

It is a mark of how careless we have become with our lives. Hilarious as it might be, I just don’t understand the mentality of destruction. And please take me at my word when I say destructive.

I am not plucking specks out of your eyes. I am looking in the mirror at my own glaring plank and asking myself how it even got there in the first place. Humility. What on earth does this look like? Real, honest, from-the-heart humility. I do not have this within myself. I need it, welcome it. I am at the end of myself. There is nothing good within me. So here is Jesus. And I am sorry for the harm and destruction my tongue has caused. I am sorry. And I love you.

Now I am become Death: destroyer of worlds.

J Robert Oppenheimer; creator of the atomic bomb.

sway to the rhythm of love.

I often wonder what my life will be like when I get married. Maybe I’m jumping the gun here, but I think I should examine a few things before some dear man enters my life permanently.

I see a lot of people getting married and switching up their lives for their spouse. Some even start that process before the elusive engagement ring mysteriously appears on their finger.

I am so used to doing things a certain way. I am slightly concerned that I won’t be able to acclimate well to married life, if that is what I am called to.

I like going to bed whenever I want. I like playing the guitar at 11pm. I enjoy watching season after season of Bones, ignoring the pile of laundry on the floor. I delight in putting on a dress and dancing in my room for ten minutes before throwing on pajamas and doing a crossword. I occasionally skip meals and don’t feel guilty. I sleep with a fan on always. I sporadically clean whenever I want. I don’t like doing yard work. I write messages to myself on my mirrors. I like clocks. I leave towels on the floor. I don’t make my bed. I have old ratty fuzzy pink slippers that are so comfortable. I kill every insect I find. I go where I want without telling anyone.

How on earth can you add another person into that insanity? It would so limit my freedom and spontaneity. But that’s probably just my realistic world clashing with my idealistic world. I just don’t see how 2 + 2 could ever = 4 in my world(s).

It’s so selfish of me, to think only of what I’d be losing in the deal. Because everyone I know says that giving up my messy bed and random bedtimes will be worth it. But honestly, I don’t get it. I get the companionship and the love and the sex and the hand holding and the laughter and the memories and all of that. But if my life feels great now, why should I change it just because someone says that the unknown will be better.

I’m not against marriage, for me or anyone else. I just have these unresolved musings and I figure that getting them out now is better than getting them out after the first anniversary.
Thoughts?

casimir pulaski day.

There is so much…just too much. I always want to give each post its own individual topic. But I’m afraid that’s not possible this time. I have too much taking root in my brain to give this post any boundaries. So here’s a nice caveat for you: I am very tired and very inspired and very nonsensical.

So much is changing. Why am I opposed to it? It’s been years since Rafiki spoke those words: Change is good. But I still don’t agree with it. Through everything I have never received the good that was supposed to accompany change. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to know how.

I hope that what will really matter after all is that I have faith that there is good here, in this shifting sand. I don’t know what, or how to use it, but I believe there is good in everything.

Change too often shows me what I lack in my life. It often brings up my selfishness, self centeredness. I, I, I.

I’m tired of myself. I’m sick of the same thoughts, the same patterns of dealing with crap, the same reactions.

I’m sorry. There is no pretty little bow at the end of this post. I can’t wrap this up neatly and put it away. I’m sleepy. There are too many thoughts, or too few. Or maybe I just need the woods and a blanket and you. You’re pretty awesome, you know.

baby, i’m amazed.

It’s fall. I mean, officially, it’s fall. This fact makes me so happy. I love the smells, tastes and colors of autumn. One fall tradition that I particularly enjoy is that of the Corn Maze. Getting lost in the twists and turns, following the maps (I am a closet cartologist), feeling the cold rush of air as you run through the maze.

But lately I have been wondering why it’s so fascinating, this idea of getting lost. Why are we so intrigued by mazes?

Could it be that it resembles life to us? I know I’m waxing psychological here, but roll with me. In our lives things are so unpredictable. Our view of things becomes twisted the more time we spend in this maze of life. Most of us just wander around aimlessly hoping that wherever we do end up is the right place. Some of us decide that reading the map will help us find our way through the dead ends and loops and confusion. And still more of us just get frustrated and plop down in the path refusing to budge for anyone, getting in everyone else’s way, complaining about the irony of it all.

I have to ask myself what Jesus thinks of all this? What if he is waiting for us to wake up and realize there is a whole world outside our little maze?

What if the way out of the maze is to just start running through the corn until you’re suddenly out? What if that’s what it takes? Men and women who are tired of being told that the only way out is the path that has been forged by others. Men and women who are not afraid of what is past the wall of corn. Men and women who will have the courage and fortitude to blaze their own trail out of the maze of everyday life and into the arms of their lover!

I hope I am such a woman. I refuse to be a follower, instead choosing a life of adventure and daring. A life others will laugh at but be challenged by.

I choose to bolt my way out of the maze, blindly running to the world that is more real than the corn field I’ve always known.

just like a tattoo.

It’s 2am. I’m so tired but can’t go back to sleep. There are thoughts, so many, blurred and convoluted. There is flooding mere miles away, people I love are hurting, things are crazy. But that’s not why I’m posting this, uhm, morning.

I’m tired of religion. Throughout my life I have always been under some kind of pressure to meet a specific standard, follow rules, chain myself to theologies and doctrines for fear of not living a righteous enough life. If I didn’t carry the heavy burden of these manmade standards, I was looked upon as one who had fallen away. I didn’t fit into their normal so they classified me as untouchable.

Everyone everywhere has done this in some fashion. I’ve done it countless times to others. We think we do it out of concern for their wellbeing. We tell ourselves that God holds us to a standard and we should therefor hold each other to those standards as well. We hold our opinions close to our hearts, so close they begin to be absorbed into our relationship with God.

I do not believe he judges me. Maybe that shocks you but I think you can reason this out with me. If we say that our sins were handled on the cross, that God now looks at us through the person of Jesus Christ and all he did, then in Gods eyes I am his dearest one, his beloved, his perfect intention for his creation.

I make mistakes. He knows that. He is grace-filled and his “burden” is not that at all. It is a perfect blend of love and grace. There is nothing I can do that can make him love me more or less. Do I really think myself so important that by my very actions and thoughts I can convince the God of the universe that I’m suddenly not worth loving or saving? His heart is grieved by these attitudes. Can’t you feel it?

I’m getting a tattoo tomorrow, well, today. And I cannot understand why you think that you can ever fulfill the ‘command’ of loving your neighbor if you condemn and despise a fellow believer. This is what I’m choosing for myself and I’m not hanging my salvation on it, and neither should you.

Cut out the law, if that’s what you’re living by and for. Please, for Jesus’ sake, try to comprehend how high, how deep, how vast, how wide, how unending is the love of God.

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