Monday, December 31, 2012

Fate Awaits 2013


So much is ahead to learn, fail and overcome. I'm ready. I'm terrified. And ever God is impressing the truth of abiding in Him for survival.
Survival of what? What is to come?
In the midst of such anxious questions He calls to mind some memories, sweet memories of secret meetings with Him and also the hell of certain years that have proven feeble when meeting with His promises. He reminds us of Heaven. He reminds us of the glory that is more precious than the dreaming day to day life and sleepless nights here on earth. To Awake, and to taste true Reality is tempting me to sacrifice even more in the little months ahead of puny 2013 than my best year of servanthood.
Tomorrow is no different than the chance I had today. And yet ever tomorrow is more bright and prophetic than the mistakes I have made in the past 24hrs :) What do I think of the exhausted topic of the new year? It's too irregular for me to predict its appearance or ambiance. But I suppose then you could see it as a world between worlds. The continued journey on a road that has no standstills. The deep breath is over and now it is the plunge. It is not the journey's end, nor its beginning, but it is a surprise chapter that refuses to let us prepare for it. Aha! Touche, life. Touche.


In view of my circumstances I think to my selfish self, "I did not want to be here at all." Why, self?  Well, I don't actually know. And actually, after all the unexpected... I don't know where else I could be. Or should be. Or would be. I think God has this one. And I better get my abiding act together if I want anything in this short life to matter or last.


PS: The unexpected Asia journey's tales, mishaps and God's timely rescues all still to come...shortly..ish.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Hello, October

 These days I'm overcome with anxiety over the fact that I can't predict what my eyes will behold in only a couple weeks.
I plan to miss my flight. I plan to stay in my room and lock the door.

  
But then, I think about the sights I'll be re-visiting...


...the sights that I'll be seeing for the first time...


...the sights I've dreamt about seeing for the first time for over 10 years,...


...and tell myself that I am literally time traveling from the safety of my room...


...then I don't think I want to pass it up.
Lord, help me. I'm so gripped with fear and simultaneous excitement.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Precious Indeed


In that moment He impressed the truth, "Circumstances do not prove I am trustworthy. My trustworthiness is proved despite your circumstances."

For some reason I wish I knew the formula for for the next time I'm desperately searching for something, I have finally found my promise ring. Missing since February, seven months later, seven months of despair, frustration, dreams of finding it, blahblahblah... Thursday was finally the day for the dreamed for breakdown. 
In the process of getting ready for the day I went into a jewelry box that I've been in countless times when looking for this ring. I swear I had torn apart every box (this one included), pocket and dusty corner and never saw it anywhere.  So this day I was completely caught off guard to find it laying safe inside. Shocked really. Shocked in that overwhelming relief and humility when your hope in God is proven trustworthy, even over so small a thing, and you're ashamed you even doubted. 


 My dad's conviction of its impending return was proven true. This one is mine, and has collected even more meaning than it already came with. It is precious to me indeed. 


But even more than this ring, God has become more precious. Still wrestling with Him in this new uncomfortable season, I'm surprised this reunion was not the climax or proof of love I was looking for. It is merely because He chose to. Merely because He let me have it back. And He didn't have to. That's the revelation. God is not obligated to give me everything I ask for. Him saying "no" is not against His goodness. And Him giving this back is humbling. To be honest I almost feel aweful for the tantrums I threw if it weren't for His sweetness that makes this kind of humility exactly what I crave. Phew!!



A classic song. It never gets old. 



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Listen, Dear Friend






Lost = Adventure


Listen and read

Story first....

Once, when we were 11 years old my two cousins and I went out into the Colorado woods with the sole intention of getting lost on purpose. Why? Because that day the word "lost" translated into "adventure" and we were bored. After accidentally finding our way back to the cabin the first time we set out again, this time deeper into the forest, meeting with excellent success. We were out for hours and realized the reality of our situation as dusk was setting into darkness rather quickly (as it usually does in the woods). I remember genuine worry and fear made the feeling of adventure disappear for me, knowing that it would only be by God's grace to get us back because when we were really trying to get home we couldn't find it, and we wanted to. Matt shared in my concern as Pj began to build a makeshift shelter under a tree while we still had daylight (typical Pj). We weren't ready to resign to the fact that we were really that lost yet (we were that lost). But thanks to God's grace for 3 stupid kids we did eventually come upon Aunt Mary who was searching for us just a few yards from the cabin with the sun setting behind.
Why do I tell this story? Partly to showcase my family, who I find hilarious. But mostly because I feel like that kid again. I've got myself good and lost and it's God who has to get me out of the woods before it gets dark despite my stupid decisions fueled by boredom. Lost, this time, has to translate into adventure, dramatic feelings and all. What other option do I have?

Nursing school:
After two years (4 semesters and 3 summers) of waiting, of "just kidding"s, and feeling like I had been abandoned and wondering for way too long, I got a call. The nursing school had called my name, the wait was over, my real education was finally going to begin and I would fulfill my life's calling starting in only a couple weeks for fall semester. I really needed this. I really wanted this. I was overjoyed. I was dancing. I was in tears. Until...
"Yes, your name has been called. Congratulations! Buuuut, it looks like there's a bit of an issue. Has your fingerprint clearance card come in yet?"
Of course it hadn't.
"Yes it looks like we got your application on July 3rd so another 5 to 8 weeks to process before a card can be issued." I couldn't accept this spot without the card. After asking her if she could expedite that into a 2 day process I got laughed at and transferred to her supervisor (with her chuckling the entire time). That day was spent calling any counselor and/or supervisor that could possibly aid me in my desperate plight of expediting my clearance card application so I could accept the nursing school spot. All met me with rehearsed sympathy and slight annoyance since they dealt with this every semester and made sure to let me know that they had all heard it before. Mine was no special case, though I'm sure I could claim to be the only one that tried to bribe them with baked pies.
Long story short my dreams did not come true. The card could not be expedited and I had given up my spot to hope for spring semester instead (and add semester 5 to the count of waiting). Yes, my relationship with the community colleges would not be the same without them pulling the rug out from under me again. Oh nursing school, you wretched tease you.
Yes. I am good and lost and a lot of it is my fault.

Story second...

In 2007 I was in Berlin with some of the best friends I had ever made. The word "adventure" took on real meaning after meeting these girls and in true spirit of that we wondered the night streets, a little lost. In our wonderings we accidentally arrived at the Berlin Zoo. Since we loved zoos it was hard to stay on the outside when we had found a way to sneak in but decided against it at the thought of being in a foreign prison. Instead we climbed all over the entrance sculptures and found we could feign looking like we were in Asia. Willingness, flexibility and imagination will take you anywhere.
Why do I tell THIS story?
Because at the end of October of this year 2012, God willing (as nursing school has taught me to hold with an open hand) I will no longer have to feign. The one good thing about having to defer to spring semester, a possible good thing about being foolishly lost, is that I can go to India for a little while. It's a medical missions trip for a week to minister to the Jewish remnants of the lost tribes of Israel at the entire opposite end of the country that I wanted to go to. It's only a week, it's not exactly where I wanted to go, and I can't contribute hardly anything since I am so lacking in medical education (thanks Maricopa)... but it's India. It's my India dream. And I hope God will let me. It's a whirlwind of a tale to explain how it happened, and even more of a whirlwind to explain that I'm also going to Thailand right after, but there it stands. My optimistic wish to hopefully take a picture with a real elephant :) and see the adventure and God's sovereignty in being lost.




Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the Desert but On Top of the World





Ah life. Who the heck are you.
For the past 5 years I've taken encouragement during this whole nursing school waiting list process in the fact that I had substantial amounts of time to enjoy things like home, family and familiar when I knew they wouldn't last for forever. But now I am so sick of familiar. In the words of Jo March, "I love our home but I can't stand being here!" 
I've become acutely aware of my inability to be gracious to myself by fighting God's grace whilst I'm nit picking at my flaws. I couldn't find anything better to do. To be honest? I can't stand myself. I can't stand my lack of progress as an adult or my inability to override my circumstances to the excessive extent that I want to. I give up way too easy under the shadow of my ominous goal. Yet I will fight with God for my pride and the position of being right before Him. It's a way of trying to beat Him to the punch by correcting myself in every thing before He can and still be comfortable in my bubble of "familiar". But then I'm overwhelmed with the responsibility of my redemptive process, which was never my burden to bear, and am angry when I haven't attained the blessing I was going for in my self purifying plan. Thankfully, and very painfully, God is not letting me have it. Meaning I'm forced to feel my sin, my immaturity and handicaps so that I can feel His grace after I've failed at saving myself. 
"By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!"
-Romans 5
Developing Patience 
(MSG)


Now, that I'm seeing it's His mercy that allows my world to be worth anything, I can move forward, away from the old familiar, even if I have no idea what that kind of future looks like or that I am so incapable of it. Right now I'm not waiting to sing for joy when I've arrived at my purpose in life (because I'm suspicious it's going to take years, thanks to the community colleges). But with God's grace (because I forget instantly), I'm learning to sing right now, in the midst of the frustration of life and my excessive failures. 
Take THAT nursing school!!


video




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh bless me...


It is simply this, I have neglected my first love. It is also this, I am wrestling terribly with disappointment and am finding that I come up so short in the department of courage to defy it. But let me tell you; I have a secret suspicion that I have not fed enough. These disappointments are relieving my heart. Somehow I knew that my own hopes and plans were still not sufficient to mark a life that mattered. These disappointments clear the fog, leaving no doubt, and I can see what God has been doing in the midst of my distraction.

I've thought a lot about that night on the beach in Hawaii and questioned my hope's safety in Him for how terrified I was of the next couple years being just like the last. Here is the powerful truth that I still cannot grasp in my human logic. God makes a very stern and loud promise that our happiness is not going to be in our pitiful circumstances. Life is not going to change. Satan is not going to let up. The world is still unjust, counterfeit, confining, hurtful and broken. But He will be just, real, freeing, healing and whole. "Come to Me and see what heavenly truths my Spirit will feed yours." I see that when life sucks it becomes so much easier to see the dire need for heaven. I see that when the decision to follow Him becomes more epic then simply sacrificing 7 months away from home, then the taste of Heaven will be that much more potent. And suddenly instead of just every day, we come to need our Savior every hour.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lamentations 3:19-27



19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall. 
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me. 
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,     
    for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; 
    therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him; 
26 it is good to wait quietly 
    for the salvation of the Lord
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.


Thank you, Abbie :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 5th, 2012


Just to stress the amazing importance of astronomy and the privileged front row seat to the galaxy that God has given us... In addition to the super moon and solar eclipse there was another celestial event that won't been seen again for another 105 years (so the one blog that I read told me). Click HERE to look at it yourself.
Science is so cool!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"He Saw My Heart's Woe"




: Charlotte Bronte
Waterhouse

He saw my heart's woe, discovered my soul's anguish,
How in fever, in thirst, in atrophy it pined;
Knew he could heal, yet looked and let it languish, -
To its moans spirit-deaf, to its pangs spirit-blind.

But once a year he heard a whisper low and dreary
Appealing for aid, entreating some reply;
Only when sick, soul-worn, and torture-weary,
Breathed I that prayer, heaved I that sigh.

He was mute as is the grave, he stood stirless as a
tower;
At last I looked up, and saw I prayed to stone:
I asked for help of that which to help had no power,
I sought love where love was utterly unknown.

Idolater I kneeled to an idol cut in rock!
I might have slashed my flesh and drawn my heart's best blood:
The Granite God had felt no tenderness, no shock;
My Baal had not seen nor heard nor understood.

On dark remorse I rose; I rose in darker shame;
Self-condemned I withdrew to an exile from my kind;
A solitude I sought where mortal never came,
Hoping in its wilds forgetfulness to find.

Now, Heaven, heal the wound which I still deeply feel;
Thy glorious host look not in scorn on our poor race;
Thy King eternal doth no iron judgment deal 
On suffering worms who seek forgiveness, comfort, grace.

He gave our hearts to love: He will not love despise,
E'en if the gift be lost, as mine was long ago;
He will forgive the fault, will bid the offender rise,
Wash out with dews of bliss the fiery brand of woe;

And give a sheltered place beneath the unsullied
throne,
Whence the soul redeemed may mark Time's fleeting course round earth;
And knows its trials overpast, its sufferings gone,
And feel the peril past of Death's immortal birth.



Friday, June 1, 2012

Solar Eclipse - May 20th



Dear blog,

School has outmatched me, there is nothing fair or efficient about it, but I keep going like Nacho Libre after his dream of becoming a Luchador. Maybe just imagine me in scrubs coming into an operating room instead. I do at least. Cape, wind and stance included.


I still haven't found my promise ring and you may give me and my parents all the respect you have if you knew all the things in this house we dug through meticulously in hopes it was there. All those drains, pipes, vacuum bags and old trash bags have taught me there is nothing too gross I can't and won't go through if the reward is precious.
I want to move out and be completely independent. And in my desire my family rallied together around me and helped set up a budget for me to see if it were possible. It's not. But now that I know what to chase after I guess I'll start sprinting. I'm trying very hard. I told Jamie that the next time I saw her I'd have my life in order... it's getting pretty close to it. It's quite a different picture from the one of the camel chewing on its fence. And even though it's been tough the road keeps moving and I'm savoring that movement.


I had written about adrenaline a couple months back and my craving for it in a season of stuck, bored and paralyzed. I will revisit its source of fear and the desire to get over it. But now I see there are so many faces to this demon and am now craving peace, quiet and assurance. I don't want to jump off a cliff. I want to be under an open sky and surrounded by mountains or redwoods that prove that there are bigger things than my tiny little distressed world and its failures. A place where I'm safe under God's omnipotence and awesomeness that shrinks my fear into the tiny, insignificant and powerless stature that it truly is. I want to breathe and let my mind simply stop for a while. There is a mad battle going on in there that will burn itself out if it doesn't stop to rejuvenate.



Solar eclipse behind one of my favorite flowers (Mexican Bird of Paradise)


Everything is so new. I feel so eerily new. I feel scared for the new potential God is putting in me and I'm so tempted to shrink into old handicaps for how familiar they have been to me. But like Bilbo, I've already left the Shire, and so cannot draw from the old comforts of my hobbit hole. 


On an awesome note - I'm half way through the Two Towers :) Can't you tell?

Super Moons and Solar Eclipses? I feel like I'm living in a fantasy sci-fi novel. There is nothing passive or earthly about it. 



Super Moon - May 5th


Super Moon rising on the drive back from California



During a rest stop I was hurried in my attempts to get a shot of it, so it's a bit blurry. 



Back at home after the orange glow had quite gone out of it.



Monday, May 21, 2012

To Imagination





To Imagination
: Emily Bronte

When weary with the long day's care,
And earthly change from pain to pain,
And lost and ready to despair,
Thy kind voice calls me back again:
Oh, my true friend! I am not lone,
While thou canst speak with such a tone!

So hopeless is the world without;
The world within I doubly prize;
Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,
And cold suspicion never rise;
Where thou, and I, and Liberty,
Have undisputed sovereignty.

What matters it, that, all around,
Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,
If but within our bosom's bound
We hold a bright, untroubled sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days?

Reason, indeed, may oft complain
For Nature's sad reality,
And tell the suffering heart, how vain
Its cherished dreams must always be;
And Truth may rudely trample down
The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown:

But, thou art ever there, to bring
The hovering vision back, and breathe
New glories o'er the blighted spring,
And call a lovelier Life from Death,
And whisper, with a voice divine,
Of real worlds, as bright as thine. 

I trust not to thy phantom bliss,
Yet, still, in evening's quiet hour,
With never-failing thankfulness,
I welcome thee, Benignant Power;
Sure solacer of human cares,
And sweeter hope, when hope despairs!



Friday, May 4, 2012

Ode to Big Red/Senior Salsa/Big Fuego


Such a sucker.

I walked in to REI over a year ago with the sole intention of "just going to get fitted for a pack for when I can afford one and really need it."
Idiot.
REI is such a trap with its amazing return policy and spirit of adventure that permeates the boredom of every day life in the city. Pictures of accomplished bucket list activities everywhere, survivor tools and gadgets, and gear that looks so cool you find yourself making a mental note to quit school and become a river rafting guide or professional spelunker to attain them. Oh the web of tantalizing possibilities! This is where the spider of poverty is waiting to consume us.
It's no surprise then that I came out with a gloriously colored pack that very day for "just getting fitted". After spending hours with various straps and packs and measurements and trudging up and down the stairs... well, I just couldn't say no. The pack seemed to purchase my freedom and carry all my little future "some day" plans and turned itself into a ticket to make them possible (which it did). Scott had cut me a sweet deal, and I hugged Big Red (and my newly obtained poverty) out the store in the car and all the way home.
Best idiotic purchase I ever made. But because of that day I haven't gone back for myself. I'm afraid I'll walk out with a canoe.


For all the little road trips I used him for I FINALLY got some backpacking out of him with the perfect company. Two of my sisters and I headed to Clear Creek for a little get away with Leslie's granted notion of wearing dresses. Surprisingly comfortable. The Scotsmen are onto something with kilts.





I may find some qualms about this pack in the future, but for now, I am totally in love.
Here's to you, Big Red, and your many names.






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Earl



Meet my man, Earl. 
I know it's not common knowledge to the public but allow me to make it so. One December afternoon I put his required existence down on my Christmas wish list and thanks to my mother's good humor I found him peeking out of my stocking Christmas morn with the most romantic sign. He stands sentinel on my shelf alongside The Lord of the Rings, with his hip 1970's attire (thanks to mom). He's apparently pretty funny aaaaand he's rich. Heck if I see any of that money though since I'm pretty much broke. I also haven't made it to India and three jobs is a far cry from "never have to work." Boy my annoyance was growing over my disappointment. But then I found him in some old family photos and was tickled pink over how good of a sport he really is.

This was his first day in the family. It was a bit rough for him since my nephew openly rejected his existance as a legitimate uncle despite his own father's assurance and that of my own. That's a lot of pressure for such a little guy.
"Liam, meet your Uncle Earl!"
"...This is a joke right?"
"Why would I joke about this."

 But it's all good now and though it may have taken a while the added years have made him so much a part of the family that you can't even tell he once didn't fit in.


He's so good about looking at the camera. Sets an example for all the rest of us. 


Keep it up, Earl!!





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Living Bridge






The world is full of so many ethereal things.
Science IS magic. So scientists are fairies?

Amy Excerpt

Excerpt from Amy Carmichael's devotional

Echo Canyon

"March 27
               
                  Clouds


  'This evening the clouds lay low on the mountains, so that sometimes we could hardly see them, and sometimes the stars were nearly all covered. But always, just when it seemed as though the mountains were going to be quite lost in the mist, the higher peaks pushed out, and whereas the dimmer stars were veiled, the brighter ones shone through. Even supposing the clouds had wholly covered the face of the mountains, and not a star had shone through the pile-up masses, the mountains would still have stood steadfast, and the stars would not have ceased to shine.
  I though of this and found if very comforting, simple as it is. Our feelings do not affect God's facts. They may blow up like clouds and cover the eternal things that we do most truly believe. We may not see the shining of the promises, but still they shine; and the strength of the hills that is His also, is not for one moment less because of our human weakness.
  Heaven is no dream. Feelings go and come like clouds, but the hills and the stars abide.'"




Bobby's Rock


The Monk and Orion at Echo Canyon




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Adrenaline

Tonight I mull over my brother's words.
"Everyone is scared of something, Arica, and we all have to face it. Make sure you face your fear and work it out with God."

When I was in Hawaii at the beginning of March I found that the essence of escape wasn't elating me. Apparently it was a prime scenario for me to be taken away from every distraction and when left with no other option I allowed myself to dive into a depth with God that I had apparently been avoiding.
God, despite me holding Him at arms length, was pursuing my deeper trust.
"Why are you so distressed? Don't you trust Me?"
"Honestly? At this level? No, not really lately."
"I see. So give Me what you're withholding from Me."
"More?"
"Yes. Let me take care of your life, your worries, your plans, your heart... your dreams. Give Me your love again."
Oh man, He was prodding at those sensitive issues.
"Seriously, God? You aren't going to convince me first?"
"I already have. And, Arica?"
"Yeah?"
"You can enjoy Me now, more than you ever have before. I will give you peace."

I am not a crier. I simply don't enjoy emotions being able to contort my face and bring on what feels like a full blown sinus infection. But last week has turned me into a lenient faucet as I watched God parade His testimony in Jamie's life, all the way to the altar as she got married to Sam, another amazing testimony, formed from His hand. If you could learn anything from their marriage it was that God is good and trustworthy. But all the while I kept worrying what would come next in my own life. Not because of any red flags, but simply because I was giving up on formulating life (because I suck at it). The week of meeting new people and laughing with new friends felt like Bodenseehof all over again and I knew, from hard learned lessons, that that wasn't a place that we could camp in. It was a pocket, a pocket of eternity, not a destination.
Because of the wedding life was so full and in the few moments I had when I was at home to switch out clothes and whatever else I needed I would catch glimpses of a sleeping waiting fear. I feared the flat after it would all be over and everyone would leave. I feared the life I'd have to face that I still had not got in order and all the growing up I had yet to do.
It was simply this. Was God being a tease... or was He going to be faithful?
At the end of it all, Jamie and Sam were married, everyone went home, and I experienced the full effect of not having really slept for nearly 3 weeks. This sleep deprivation came in handy for a good cry and my mom came in handy when she saw it coming from a mile away. She knows me so well. Between my toothbrush and tears she got every little confession of all my stupid little fears. Fear of disappointment, disappointing, my dreams forever beyond my reach, left behind, loss, inadequacy, stupidity, little, not capable of growing up... ah you name it and it was bubbling over. But the desire to feel your soul on fire, your heart healthy and alive, and your dearest dreams come true is a desire that I don't think it was ever in God's plan to have His children give up. Mom affirmed this and in the span of 15 minutes was able to enforce a fortress of truth that I couldn't build at the end of the month on my own. Since putting up no fight with her encouragement I soaked it in like a sponge and slept deeper than I had in weeks.
God was refining something, very patiently.



The next day when I was nannying a single quote from a movie stuck to my mind like a fly trap. "Never have I felt so alive, than when I was so close to death."
I don't know what it was but I attached myself to that concept knowing that that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to feel alive in the midst of emotional death.
There is the safe life. The life that takes no risks, never goes river rafting, or climbs heights or enjoys getting lost to let adventures happen. And there is another safe life. The kind that hides in emotional fear. That keeps bold requests from God for fear that He won't supply. A safe life that hides from pain because the emotion is too strong or from a question for fear it can't be answered. So if there's a conquering rush from the obvious adventure in life of overcoming vertigo or the ocean, then isn't there also a rush that eclipses spiritual fear? There has to be life in the midst of the battle. And not just in the midst of it but life exemplified for what you are clinging to. I'm tired of the cowardice and I'm sick of watching years go by in an emotional bubble. Because I think there is a difference in joy from being fed with a received blessing and then conquering a stronghold and winning freedom.
Queue Leslie :) My absolute favorite person to dive that deep into a thought with for her ability to bring to light a solid tangible answer.
How can you feel alive when paralyzing fear, disappointment and emotional grief threaten hope? Where is the "alive" factor when you feel stuck and flat? The feeling of having cheated fear when you need it? So simple: Trust. Shut your ears to the discouragement, the worry, the possible disappointment and just jump into God's truth. Upon hearing her say it my heart skipped like I was looking over a cliff with a parachute strapped to my back. Peter Reid once said, "In order to trust God you have to know the God you are trusting." When you've been listening to nothing but enslaving lies you loose sight of who God is, and that leap of trust seems to test every fiber of your brave little heart. To give Him all control and pour my hope and dreams into Him without reservation, I'm ashamed to say, scared the crap out of me. But then you do, and the sudden freedom in your heart that floods in and the safety you realize that He is and always was is an exhilirating truth that you want to test over and over again just for the feeling of flight with God.

Most times I feel out of place for how theatrical the world appears to me, but then I see God pursue this and am floored at how incredibly epic He is. He had told me to trust Him and confirmed it through others like Jayne, mom, Leslie and Zander. This isn't exactly a comfort after the storm but a sure feeling that something is coming. As Gandalf says, "It's the deep breath before the plunge." The moment when you've reached the top, let go of the wall, and lean back, placing all your hope and existence on a rope to let you return. He calls us out with a spirit of a warrior in our safe suburban lives in a way that tells us that there is something going on on His time table that we just aren't seeing.
It excites my soul!


Kathryn had given me this song right before I left for Hawaii and it basically is a recording of all that God has told me this month. May the Lord bless her for it, she doesn't know how priceless it has been.


I have no conclusion, only my God's promises continually calling as a challenge to no longer heed the voice of fear... and to enjoy Him. :)






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Okay


My ego took a good unneeded hit recently and I find myself struggling to stick it out till the emotion passes and I grow more confident from it. It's always the same. Either run and hide and watch my life become empty, or relish the growth and be better and sweeter for it. It's a tiny block from the iceberg that will surface on here but the song that fed my heart today for comfort has fed it before and I'd like to keep it here in my archive.






Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Precious

I never thought I would find anything to relate to with the villainous characters in The Lord of the Rings, but here we are folks. It has been over a week since I last saw my promise ring and I am going near insane with anxiety over its possible whereabouts and how it escaped me. Where is it?!!! Don't be surprised if you find me living under a mountain somewhere with all my hair fallen out. Or, just be careful if you find me giving nine rings away to power seeking men. Though I'm desperate for a search party I think I'll still need someone to keep me accountable from creating Ring Wraiths.


That pretty horse is Smokey, the desert version of Shadowfax.


Who do I blame? My arch nemesis...
If she thinks she's taking it to Mount Doom to destroy me she's got another thing coming.



Oh and PS: By "lost it" I mean literally misplaced it.
PPS: Can you tell what book I've been reading?




The Good Life

Today was an efficient day.
I met with a familiar nursing school friend, named "Just Kidding", who immediately took the wind out of my sails for my hoped for soon entry into the nursing program. Try as I may to keep my expectations to a bare minimum in thinking that I might just see the starting line (not the finish...the starting) only to find I am always a year away from ever hearing that pistol fire. Oh well. Once I actually become a nurse it will be something else that I am waiting on so, whatever life looks like now is the rest of it. And it doesn't look too shabby. Home I drove to the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, feeling at peace despite my dissappointment, thinking about life and how predictable it is in its unpredictability. Which leads me to why I loved today.
So we hate the in house bugs, the crickets, roaches, scorpions, etc. but call us wretched if ever a lizard escapes our notice without possessing our full blessing on it to have a full life (with lots of bugs to eat). So imagine our dismay when such a lizard lay trapped in one of our bug motels, who's death is sticky beyond belief. Breathing shallowly with its eyes closed in accepted defeat our sympathy moved him to our top priority. Out came the scissors, q-tips, goo-be-gone, business cards, pencils and kleenex to rush to his aid. Boy was that guy stuck and the more time we spent with him the more we fell in love as hope returned to his little reptile body, breathing increasing in full and his eyes opened with ambition as he realized each little limb was being freed.... very slowly. No skin was hurt, no finger missing, we worked for half an hour till finally mom cradled his newly freed self in her hands and rinsed him clean.
So what did I do today that made today worth enjoying? I saved a lizard from a hopeless grave :) and if such empathy from a selfish human can be given to an insignificant lizard, how does God feel about me? How does He feel about us?

Breathing free

Look at his pretty coloring and his sleepy eyes!

And look at him springing to life and giving me a heart attack and almost breaking my camera

Released and soaking in the sun :)



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kindred Spirits


Since 1987


I've known these kids since before my memory kicked in, (which was pretty late but that doesn't matter)  and man do I love them. When you're young and you have a strong sense of true friends you hope it only gets better as the years bring on the change. And though our times together look nothing like the dirt clod wars and alternate imaginative or post-apocalyptic stories we pretended I can say it has indeed, gotten better.
Why?
Because we went through salvation together and that bond is stronger than childhood. Phew! Jesus glue is more binding than memory glue. I'm glad He is so giving, nostalgic and sentimental. I'm so glad I can look at each of these people and see them as I remember them as they talk about their grown up woes, joys and jokes (that still make me laugh like nothing else can).


Classic



Monday, January 30, 2012

Painted for a Morning :)

I'm in love. Oh so in love with color. How in the world can it produce so much beauty?? Which leads to my next question: How in the WORLD do the Indians do it? Asia has got something on color, and I'm just happy they share it. 
So with failed plans of a personalized Holi Festival last year, naturally we jumped at the chance to get a sort of modified Phoenix version. Ladies and gentlemen, The Color Run. It's a simple 5k "run" and at every kilometer you go through a color zone in which you are painted with holi powder. So many stinkin' people came but I guess that also adds to the "Indian Festival" experience. My sister, family friend and I were unsuccessful in finding the rest of our team (seriously, the crowd was natural disaster size) but in the end we met with success after calling for them via microphone on the stage and reveled in our painted Avatar glory :) I have never felt more like running wild screaming "Broowaa!" in my life. Goodness knows what an actual Holi Festival would do to us.

Yes I did.


Due to potent powder's ability to ruin technology I opted to leave my camera at home and save its use for the aftermath.














The Color Run, Tempe