Thursday, December 31, 2009

What isn't there to love?

I'll play along too. I actually had a really hard time wanting to post anything after my last post. I feel like I have since just been resting in this state of in between. God has been so good and so very clearly speaking to my heart. This list of things I love that follows, well it just seems like I good way to end the year. Sharing a bit more of the things I am passionate about. I am declaring 2010 to be a year of "so much more." My God truly does have so much more for my life.

In no particular order here are 10 things i love:

1. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is my family, my Savior, my counselor, teacher – Everything. My heart isn’t even capable of loving them enough. Without Him I would not have a life, and such a blessed one at that. (this one is truly #1)

2. Diet coke, which I am sure comes as no surprise if you’ve known me for more than a day or two. Cherry Kool-aid is a close second.

3. Singing, music, my guitar. Again… not a surprise. Music runs through my blood and shapes and colors the expression of my emotions.

4. Children, even though I don’t have any of my own. I love being with them and the connection that comes very easily for me. I love being able to aid in shaping the young lives around me.

5. Deep conversations. I don’t do “small talk” well. I don’t want to waste time or breath. Lets jump into the heart of the matter and share ourselves as we really are. These true conversations bless my heart, they push me and allow God to knit hearts together in the places that otherwise could not be.

6. Writing. Any kind of good writing. Poetry. Literature. Blogs. Amazing song lyrics. Journaling. I love that God has given me the gift of words. I learn so much. I feel so deeply. It affects me physiologically – it seats itself in my heart and mind and is carried there.

7. My friends. I love them fiercely and with everything I have to offer. Friendship is something I value like treasure and I don’t just call anyone I know a friend. If you are one (if you are reading this you most likely are) then I hope/pray that you have been blessed by allowing me to be a part of your life.

8. Water. Beside the fact that I can’t live without it, I love being in it. Pool, lake, ocean. Human… dolphin… I can be both, right? :D Oh, the ocean stirs my soul and brings me such a sense of peace. I have many wonderful oceanside memories (right lau?)

9. Dolphins. Especially singing with my Elele. I have loved dolphins since I was about 4 years old. I was blessed to at least be able to live out my dream for a short time and have an experience like most only dream of.

10. Lemon flavored or scented stuff. Handiwipes. I could sniff them for hours. Lemon cake with lemon frosting is my favorite dessert. Unfortunately, in my efforts to eat healthy I don’t have it very often. But for my birthday this year I did get homemade lemon cookies…mmmm

There you have it. 10 glimpses into my heart.

I know I am supposed to pass this award on to a bunch of other bloggers. I don't know enough people so if you haven't been given this award yet - I'm passing it onto you.

Happy New Year. Asking God for so much more for all of us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Betweens

Sometimes I find myself wandering in the woods and I have no idea what prompted me to come other than a need to be out and to be alone. Well not alone entirely. God is always with me. I hear his voice in the rustling branches or the scurry of a chipmunk in the underbrush. Today, it’s a slow pace without awareness of steps or time. The silence is loud and echoes in between my foot stamped snow crunches. I watch my breath. Smokey fog of exhale quickly dissipates until replaced again. I wonder if I stare deep enough could I perhaps see a drop crystallize into a snowflake mid-air before my eyes. Disjointed thoughts pass in and through my mind. A thought settles for a moment and soon I realize I am no longer thinking about anything. There is emptiness of thought and fullness of just being. This is a time of cherishing the betweens. I can no longer feel my fingertips. My nose is numb and dripping. Logic tells me I should seek the warmth of home and yet my heart urges, aches even to walk on. To not relinquish this time too quickly. The cold acts as a preservative for this blanket of peace. It’s a waiting time… an advent. This quietness of soul is like a long forgotten melody, once cherished and now remembered. I look up at snow-heavy clouds, their edges silvered by the hidden sun and I smile. It comes up from the soles of my feet and bursts forth without reason. I am known. I am blessed. My souls hearth is warmed by joy. I spin around like a little girl showing off her “twirl-y” new dress and a small giggle escapes to be quickly swallowed up by the stillness. I have followed the whisper in the wind here. It leads and I blindly follow as if my feet alone know in what direction they are heading. The unimportants have long since been left carelessly strewn along the trodden path. The weighted remainder has settled. My present is simply a place between here and there. I reach out as my palm collects the falling snow. I marvel that I am just as it is, dust and water in unique formation. Brief, beautiful and individual. Now, even I am still. I wait. I breathe. I listen. Humanness intervenes. Heavy legs and frozen ears call me back from the edges of eternity. The wind pushes me homeward. There is a desire to stay in this place, to wander till I touch the horizon. But I know the value of here is only in the betweens.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
Song of Solomon 4:9 (NKJ)

“Ravished”: to seize and take away by violence; to overcome with emotion (as joy or delight)

the Hebrew word is labab: to take heart, make heart beat faster

I have ravished the heart of God.

You have ravished the heart of God.

He is filled with holy, violent love toward us.
He is captured and captivated by us.
One look to Him makes His heart beat faster.

Just think about it….

I mean really think about it.

We sing songs to God about our love for him –our joy - the sacrifice He made – his birth – his death. Have you ever listened to the song he sings over you? The words of love he has just for you. What name does he call you by?

My weak love matters to God.

Our lives more often reflect that we are insecure and unconfident of God’s love. How different would it look if we knew… KNEW how much God loves us?

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJ)

I decided to do a little math (I know… I know…) The bible uses sand and stars quite a bit – so lets pretend His thoughts towards us are like the stars. Even with all our technology – we really don’t know how many stars there are. The are over a trillion stars estimated to be in the Milky Way alone. And roughly 200 billion known galaxies. If you lived to 90 years old that would mean that God thinks of YOU somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 trillion times per second!!!

The Hebrew word for sand comes from the root word “khole”.

Khole: twist or whirl; to dance, to writhe in pain or fear; bear, bring forth, calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously, hope, look, make, be in pain, rest, shake, shapen, sorrow, stay, tarry, trevail, tremble, trust, wait carefully, be wounded

Maybe… just maybe, God feels all these things for each one of us. Twirling us around on his finger one day, sharing our sorrows the next. Giving us hope or maybe just sitting by holding us in His arms.

I am utterly ravished by that thought.
I willing trust my heart to one who loves me like that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maybe this is for you

Ever since the letter post I have felt nudged to post this note. I have no idea why, but today when I was doing dishes and it popped into my head again I knew I needed to post it.

To my dearest little treasure

How unfortunate that you will never truly know or understand how much you have enriched countless moments for me here, and beautified countless days, offerred me countless smiles that melted my heart into tiny little drops of joy, made the whole world go away with countless embraces of such warmth and love that it nearly hurt to let go. and so I can't imagine anything more painful than feeling that I destroy you so often and so thoroughly, given how strongly I feel about you, given how much I love you and care about every single emotion that passes through your little heart. It kills me to think that, in my efforts to help and heal and love and give, I so often hurt and obliterate and crush and take from my endlessly selfless flower.

volim te
oci kao polu mjesec

(translation: I love you half moon eyes forever)

to be continued??? maybe???

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've Been Hit

It's finally found me! Christmas spirit.

Saturday was a bright warm sunny day. By warm, I mean all of 30 degrees, but compared to the last few days we've had it felt like a heat wave. After getting things staightened up around the apartment, I put together a list of to-do's and hit the road.

Then it hit me. First stop. Outside the shopping center the Salvation Army band was playing. Cute firefighters were bell ringing. Great way to start things off. The stores weren't ridiculous. I found the gifts I was looking for and I didn't wait in a single line. Merry Christmas to me.

In the car, I was listening to Christmas music (duh) but not just any music. Growing up, my dad had a reel to reel player. It was the christmas music I grew up with. Most of it isn't stuff you hear anymore. One of my favorites is Little Toy Trains. My dad would always sing it to my sister and I. He would change the words to say, "little girl don't you think it's time you were in bed." This music is the soundtrack to my favorite Christmas memories. A couple years ago, I finally got my dad to give me the reel the music was on and I had it converted to CD. The quality is horrible, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It sounds just like I remember it. And you can tell that we didn't listen to the songs at the end as much as the beginning because the quality gets better 2/3 through.

And I got almost all my shopping done. But I ran out of steam. I just have a few things left to get. Two people I haven't gotten inspired for yet. It will come.... cause I got Christmas spirit!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Special Delivery

Letters... remember those?

No. Not your abc's...

The kind that came on paper in an envelope through the mail. The kind you got excited about, that made you smile just seeing it there among the ads and bills and various other junk.

I love letters. I miss letters. I love reading and writing them. They don't even have to be letters to me and I enjoy them. I have a book series called Griffin and Sabine, which I absolutely love. I don't even understand it really - I just love that it's letters written back and forth between two people. Letters contain just that extra piece of the person that email just can't convey. You can hold it and feel it, see the handwriting... the slower deliberate strokes of thought or the hurried unfinishedness of excitement. It holds time, creates a moment. A letter speaks of love - extra time taken to sit and think and feel - to remind you that you are worth that effort. Yes - a letter is extra special.

I took the time to write a letter the other day. It's been a while, but there was a time I wrote someone every couple weeks. It felt like rediscovering an old friend. Pen to paper... thoughts pouring out...wanting to finish and get it in the mail. Then the wait till it is delivered. Oh joy! The need for this letter ensued from a friend having very limited computer access. Not knowing when she would be able to read email, I was just having conversation with her in my head. So instead I decided to write down those conversations so she could have the benefit of experiencing it as well.

We've become so hurried, so robotic these days... so much so that many of us have forgotten how to communicate with each other the substance of our hearts. It's a 'hey how are you' - and we're out the door before we even get to the end of the sentence. The answer expected is always 'Fine and how are you?' If it's not - we don't know how to respond. We've got some place to be, too many things to do. Many of us are even too busy to say hi at the beginning of the forwards we send round and round. We are missing something...

... called human connection

Maybe you don't have time to meet for coffee (or a diet coke). Can you find a few minutes to write a letter to let someone know you are thinking of him or her? Maybe write a letter of encouragement for your children that they can look back on in years to come. Or to a friend you haven't been able to connect with in a while. Take some time and write a letter to a soldier who is far from home and fighting so you can sleep peacefully at night or a prisoner who might feel like God has abandoned him. You can always send one to me! I am challenging each of us to hand write a letter sometime in the next 30 days. Will you accept the challenge?

Yes - a letter is extra special

Even God knew letters were important. He wrote one for all of us - from His heart! Will you write one?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Taking Risks

Many times what God asks us to do does not make much sense in our human nature. He is always asking us to go further than our comfortabilities – it’s how we grow. Of course it can be scary.

It might be that at first you were comfortable, or just slightly unnerved and then something happens… God has asked you to go even further. Do you shrink back in fear? If we choose fear over the chance – we are telling God he can’t be trusted. And stripped down, it’s disobedience. I want my life to be characterized by trust in the only One who is absolutely trustworthy. I want to push the fear aside and go for it, because I don’t want to miss the blessings. The blessing might not even come from that particular opportunity, it could come from something or somewhere else entirely. But it will come.

This week has been unexpectedly hard. At times I wanted to lie down and quit. It seemed like God had let me down and people could not be trusted. I wanted to take the gates to my heart that I had opened, slam them shut and put as many locks as I could find on it. Of course that is not what God wanted. Not only did he very clearly tell me to not close that gate even one inch – he asked me to open them wider. Not only that, but to step out from behind them… even in my very flawed and leprous state.

I was not liking that conversation. I did quite a bit of whining with my thoughts…

“but God!!!”

The choice was mine. He doesn’t stop us from making wrong choices. I could shut out the blessing or make more room to receive it, even though it might be hard.

Of course, immediately God provided a way to walk it out. Hanging out in Bloom chat, someone needed to be heard. I stepped out and listened. I loved. I let God’s love and words pour forth. I told her to find whatever sliver of hope she could and then hang on to it. In reality, God was holding up a mirror asking me to look at myself… what would I say to me? Did I believe my own words? In the end she told me that the things she had heard about me were true. I joking said "don't believe everything you hear." Her response. "I didn't until I experienced it." It’s never about the words… it’s always about the fruit. Is the fruit of my life revealing my lack of faith and trust or does it glorify the greatness of God?

How comfortable are we? Are our words backed up by our actions or are we flighty with them? What kind of fruit are we producing?

This Jesus walk… it isn’t easy. It goes against the grain, against the current. It doesn’t fall in line with our selfish desires or natural senses. What choice will you make? Does it depend on what he asks of you?

He might ask you to leave home and go to an unknown land like Abraham… or drive to Ohio to share your story...or speak out truth like the prophets… or walk on water. Maybe it’s to reach out to a stranger… or love someone who won’t love you back. It may even be to give your life. Do you trust Him?

Friday, December 4, 2009

getting in the Christmas spirit

We have snow! Thankfully, I didn't have to work this morning, but I heard someone else scraping ice off their windows. I'm sure I'll have many oppotunities to share that joy in the morning over the next few weeks.... unless Santa wants to put a remote start in my car :)

It's afternoon and there is still a dusting of the white stuff on the ground, which means winter has officially set in.

I spent the morning putting up the christmas tree and decorations. Sometimes I'm not even sure why I bother... no one sees it but me. No presents go under the tree. But for an hour or two in the evening the lights look so pretty and bring a sense of peace. It's a reminder that this is a special time of year.

As I mentioned last year, I finally got my nativity from my grandparents. Since I didn't get it until after Christmas, this is the first time I've gotten to put it out. Three years ago, I finally just went ahead and bought my own set which I love. It's very simple and each piece has a scripture on it. My new set is beautiful and so different. I want to share it with you all. The pieces have cloth clothes. Joseph's staff is real wood. Baby Jesus is separate from the manger. The barn itself is so detailed. There is a water jug in the window. Bales of hay and a ladder.

Now, as the advent season requests... I wait.
Wait for the joy of the season to come. Wait for opportunities to love, especially in places I never expected or in places my human nature does not want to. I wait for God's promises to be fulfilled. And I wait for the return of the Savior who once came as a baby to save us and lead us home.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Come out from behind the curtain

Recently, it’s been amazing to watch others stepping out in boldness in so many ways, whether it’s facing a hurt from the past, coming out of anonymity to show the world who she is, or meeting new people. I began to think - it’s my turn. I can do something like that.

This blog is like a billboard. Not that its content isn’t true, but that I can plaster whatever I want others to see on it and keep the rest hidden. (I know some of you know me well enough to read between the lines) Yesterday, I was ready to take the leap of faith, type through the fear and step out from behind the curtain… that was yesterday.

Today, it’s 2 steps back. Looking for more curtains to shield me. Some sort of smoke and mirrors trick to satisfy but not raise suspicion. And simply admitting that is as vulnerable as I can allow myself to be right now. Maybe… that alone is a big enough step in the right direction.

And there’s always tomorrow…