Monday, December 21, 2009

Breakable Girls.

"Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

-Ingrid Michaelson

Last Saturday I went to a wedding of two friends, and witnessed love sewn together simply and in sincerity.

Since I could spell I have been doodling the name of Jesus in the margins of bulletins and notebooks. Sometimes I would add a cross or a few swirls and hearts. I have always boldly claimed that any man I married must love God first and be a Christian to the ump most degree. He would be romantic and spiritual like a twisted prince charming mixed with the fictional heroes Christian authors are creating.

But it was Saturday, listening to the vows that I was stunned with a new revelation. The pastor reminded both Brittany and Meguell that they would never be each others 'first love' and that the covenant they were entering was between three and not two. It made sense of course, Christ had to be the foundation or the point of the triangle; yet as the words came out of his mouth my heart protested. I shocked myself with the honesty I masterfully repress when it contradicts my doctrine. All romantic tears which were welling quickly gasped and hid exclaiming the unjustness of this fact; Not my first love? I have to remind myself that I know all this, but why did smack like my sister’s chewing gum?

Knowing the answer doesn't always bring contentment, because awareness of the truth still leaves us with the decision to accept it.

Problem--a wound
A wound that I was unaware of until the reality of rejection resurfaced. Healing from this wound cannot be dependent on acceptance of truth, or the answer. It must come from perfection, a whole and complete lover who has never hesitated in the pursuit of my soul, of my heart. How could I ask for anyone else to be first in pursuit of me?

I cannot rely on the modesty of others to protect my heart and my mind. This first love business must be between my Boet (the Christ) and I, anything less will not guarantee a happy ending.

Danger--First Love
I stand at a hazardous place wanting the worldly love that I can fathom to be my completing satisfaction. Yet there is a hallow that is stained by pain and rejection which can only be bleached clean by acceptance of the answer, the truth; By letting God pick up the shattered pieces and glue them back together.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

8:32a.m. -- I woke up this morning and reasoned myself out of my covers and into a paint stained outfit, shuffled to the kitchen for a banana and headed to the school for a morning of [droning] community service. This was not meant to be a punishment, but an opportunity to paint the love that I claimed for ministry and service on the heart of a women who was overwhelmed with the loss of an entire lively hood-- due to fire.

9:10a.m. -- Arrive at the house with a less than cheery demeanor, hoping whole heartily that it might snow, flood, or maybe be such a health hazard they would send us all away immediately. And then I walked in to the living room of the charred home, a place that someone had once lived and breathed fresh air, a place where safety was found and children watched Saturday morning cartoons. Ravished. Abused. Abandoned. Every surface was been tarnished by flame and water, the carpet was heaping with soggy ceiling, there was baby food sitting on the kitchen counter waiting in vain to become nourishment.

10:16a.m. -- Toss a few dozen books into the dumpster, snagged a spiral notebook that is full of handwritten recipes. The edges are charred but the pages are miraculously white, and avoiding the gallons of water from a firefighters hose.

12:00 -- Feel accomplished, we completely gutted an entire house in approximately three hours. An entire livelyhood, a place that someone came home to afterwork, where they spent hours watching television and hanging curtains. Feel dishearted.

Hebrews 31:9
"Don't be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don't seem to do much for those who buy them."

Friday, September 18, 2009

A tribute to a friend.

I have had an experience of gaining respect for a friend so overwhelming that I cannot make verbal sense of it.

Watching elasticity define her very conviction is the most inspiring example of a person willing to completely surrender self over to Christ. Hope is the word that crowds my mind as the confidence that carries her rests with humility in her Savior.

So thank you Kori, for being Christ to me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ups and Downs

Matthew 11:28-30
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

So I am in a sort of funk.

Have you ever had the experience of just wanting nothing, being reminded of everything and panicking over anything? So that may have been slightly confusing but like I said right now nothing seems right.

I am trapped in a valley.

Have you ever played the really old school version of Nintendo Disney style with Mickey and Donald Duck? I don't think there was very specific purposes to the game accept to avoid chomping things and jump up cliff sides. I remember being six and lacking the skill to ever get little Donald up, he just kept banging into the side of the cliff over and over.

I feel like that right now, lacking the skill of willpower to jump out of this valley. I was in the midst of spiritual euphoria this summer and am now so caught up in the craziness of school and commitments that I am just squatting at the base of the valley, wishing I could pause the game so I wouldn't lose points.

In John 5:6 Jesus asks a blind man "Do you want to be healed?" This is what we discussed this morning at church, do I want to get well? I talk about a Chaotic Surrender, but what the hell am I doing differently than before? Is this simply words or am I really desiring God's presence?

The purpose thus far has been to need no one but my Savior. To lean heavily on him. But the truth is we need people, God made it that way. In Mark chapter 2, a paralytic man is brought to Jesus and lowered through a roof by his friends just so he can experience Christ. Just like this man, I need those friendships in my life.

This is why we desire to date and have a genuine community of friends. So what do I really need to chaotically surrender to here? ----

Luke 10:41-42
This is the story of Martha and Mary. Martha works so hard to keep everyone happy and is working like crazy in the kitchen. Mary chooses to just sit at her Lord's feet and feast on his love and wisdom. Martha is indignant and self-righteously approaches Jesus asking him to tell Mary to quit being a thoughtless jerk and help out. The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it's the main course, and won't be taken from her."

Mary chose to quit fussing about making everything look good and just sat and rested before Christ.

So...I am learning throughout this CS to enjoy the relationships Boet (friend) has so haphazardly placed in my life while also plopping my failing self at Christ's never failing feet.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Breakthrough

"Let love be genuine"
Romans 12:9

Intimidation is a funny thing, the way we let one little thought or stereotype be fed into the sub-conscience and warp our behavior should be unfathomable.

But is happens everyday, you are introduced to a person and its like every neuron is shooting off trying to unscramble the question of "what box can I put them in?" or worse what box will they put me into?

I remember the first time I met my roommate Angela, I guess I should say I remember BOTH of the times I met her. The first time was right after a freshman Bible study so we both had our "Christian" faces on and she seemed shy and sweet. The second time happened to be that same night at an intramural game and I was under the delusion that she was not the same sweet girl, but a different red head that I saw as a viable threat to my friendship with a certain boy.

Sounds ridiculous, but I hope I am not the only one who has made this same mistake. I am certain that she was quite surprised by my ultra "cool" demeanor compared to our friendly conversation that very same afternoon.

I have noticed how we all seem to have a perception in our heads of what it looks like to be the best version of ourselves. Do you know what I mean? The coolest, smoothest, wittiest, and most attractive version. What we wished everyone saw and talked about. The unlucky thing is, not all of us have been able to pull this off.

I will admit that I have met several individuals who have mastered what I have nicked named "the swagger." I see this occur in men and women both, but I got the idea from the way many men walk in accordance to who they are trying to impress.

But it is more than a walk, it is an entire personality created to fit the mold that resembles that version: the cool, smooth, witty, attractive one.

So for those of us; such as me, who have been unable to pull this off are left with the strong factor of intimidation. Which I believe has the power to ultimately effect our ability to love as Christ as commanded.

A little extreme? Maybe, but I think about all the times that this has held me back from reaching out to someone who has mastered the art of hiding their brokenness.

The other day I had a friend confess that he had recently become aware of his own swagger and the negative affects it had brought on him and others. He explained the talent it had given him to draw in many girls, he also recognized the pain our own insecurities can cause. I think like many, he understands his need for Christ to give him a genuine character.

Hearing this genuine testimony has opened my eyes in many ways to the soft brokenness behind the wall that many of us take shelter behind, the version, the swagger. With this understanding, my intimidation has melted; the brick, steel, and cement wall is looking a whole lot like Saran wrap.

Read Daniel chapter 4.
King Nebuchadnezzar was the master of Swagger, so good that he refused to give God any credit for the glories of his kingdom and wealth. But as God always does, he let Nebby become exactly what he was worth on his own, nothing; an animal eating grass in the field.

"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble."
Daniel 4:37

Blog entry in a nut shell:
The answer to fighting "the daemon" of intimidation is to simply open our eyes to brokenness. Recognize our own swagger and fight against it, give in to genuine and exposed hearts.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Viva la Vida

James 4:13-15
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or Tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring, What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'"

This weekend I went on a Leadership retreat with our BSM (campus ministry); the whole time I just felt exhausted, as though the entire summer was beginning to catch up with me and all that I had experienced was crashing in on me. They asked us the question, "What do we want to accomplish in our missions this year?" and I was stuck. There was no room for me to move forward because I was not done chewing on the summer and planning for the next.

Right before we ended the weekend, our director John asked everyone to take time to share anything that they felt God had pressed on them over the course of the weekend. One of the seniors, my friend Randa talked about how she wanted to remember that she is here, at this moment, in the present. Which is exactly where I need to live.

I have given up who I am to my Papa, this surrender is for him and the present is where I am with him. I learn from the summer but I live for today.

...An extra thought:
The Trough
There are three spots for which Longs Peak is famous: the Keyhole, the Narrows, and the Trough.

The Trough is a section that has a wide base and closes in as you gain elevation and spills rather suddenly into the Narrows.

One of the most dangerous aspects on this section is the hundred or so other hikers that cause the Trough to resemble a very hardcore city street. A careless foot can send sheets of loose granite plummeting 2,000 feet to the valley below; which always runs the hazard of bringing a "pedestrian" right along with it.

The fear on this peak is real, in many ways in comes down to "will I die today?" The only thing to focus on; preserving your life and that of those below you, is putting all your energy on what you are on at that very moment.

If I had let myself twist my neck behind me or too far forward, I would surely have lost my footing. So one icy, loose boulder at a time, we made our way over the Trough and were exposed to the east south east face.

One day at a time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So I know that Christ had a purpose for August in this surrender. And I have decided that I am supposed to learn about the product of fear and how I can overcome the unhealthy side of it.

Luke 5:10
"Do not be afraid"

There have been several events over the last month that seem to be attacking my insecurities and all the sides that accompany fear, from physical, mental and spiritual.

Let me preface by saying that in June of this year I was thrown from a horse and suffered from several cracked ribs, bruises on the muscles of my shoulder blades, and a contusion on my left hand. It was a very painful time in my life, I spent the rest of the summer in the healing process and at the doctor every other Thursday.

For some odd reason I made the decision to act as counselor and medication administrator on a horse pack trip that our camp had in August. I felt as though the confidence I had in riding was not at all disturbed by my accident, at least until I was given my horse assignment. For some reason, all calm was swept from me the second I mounted Dakota, a Dark mare with a pale face.

For anyone who had ever spent six or more hours on the back of a fury animal, you might understand the constant stress and fear of riding an animal that in many ways had more control of my safety than I did. The first day was absolutely miserable, my mind was consumed with scenarios that included me flying through the air and off the side of the cliff that we often found ourselves staring down along the trail.

I remember that one of my constant thoughts was how if I were hiking I would feel a whole lot more sure of myself. And then that night, sitting around a fire with the sun dipping behind Sawtooth in the back round, I read Psalm 147:10.
"His delight is not in th strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of man."

There was nothing I could have done to feel totally secure in my own strength. And this was made evident in my attempt to summit Longs the following Monday after the pack trip. Long's is 14,253 feet high and sixteen mile round trip hike. We left at three in the morning and finished around two that afternoon. It would have taken longer but we decided to turn around at 14,000 feet. We had just come over the trough and were staring at the Narrows, a section that is right before the homestretch to the top. In many ways I regret not finishing, but I learned about human failure and the Glory of God. Physically and mentally is was an extreme challenge, I had the opportunity to lead my group for a good portion of the way and remember continually feeling the overwhelming weight of what we were doing hit me.

Every time I glanced down the 2,000 foot drop off, became aware that my fingers were the size of sausages and had no feeling left, or felt the dropping temperatures and thinning oxygen, I was humbled by my stupidity and drive to push forward and up. Coming down my hip flexer went out and I was left with one dead leg that I dragged for about three miles.

Creation brought me to my knees, seeing the majesty of God left me understanding my own insignificance.

The third think that will have me facing against my fear is the internship which I have decided to accept in the missions department of my church. The job description is basically a mentorship program that is geared to fight increasing teen homelessness in Abilene. I will spend approximately twelve hours a week with five to six girls who are in danger of dropping out of high school.

Please don't think for a second, oh how noble. For the longest time, my life has been about middle class white kids and I can honestly say I am slightly afraid. In my own strength, I can do nothing for these girls.

"But God chose what is foolish in this world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring nothing to things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
And all I can do is surrender

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Find More lyrics at
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly
Something Heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

-Sanctus Real