Rooted

It brings me some small degree of amusement that by the time that I remember my password I have exceeded the daily login attempts. It takes about that long.

Let’s review. Today on the productivity scale was fairly good. I managed about maybe 7 chapters in Matthew and 8 in Mark. Missed the morning brunch due to poor planning, but I spent that time at home preparing for the day and engaging my heart. Spent some quality time with some girls in small group despite missing out on studying. Did well on a quiz and took forever to get home. Shut my brain off for a few hours on the bus and at home. Didn’t do much around the house but I did dig in and review 3.5 chapters in economics. 

I got stuff done. More than I have in prior days. So why do I still have a blehness in my spirit? This is the part where I realize that it is dehydration. I can check as many things off on my list as possible and without God it will all be vanity. More than reading, more than singing, more than consciously shutting my brain off. I need to dig in with God. And that requires a bit more intentionality than I’ve been offering in these few weeks.

Where do I want to grow? Down. Deep. To root myself in Christ that I might whether every storm. It won’t always be rainy season. Drought will come, and I need those hundred-year roots in order to reach the living water that flows deep within. 

The question becomes, how do I manage that?

We’re going to start with this consistency thing and go from there. 

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Wayward Wanderings: A Lioness Reflection

Part of a series of ongoing reflections for small group.

Jesus, today.

Today was many things.

Today was stress and failure and realizing that I was not as prepared as I would have liked to have been for this whole college-y thing. 

Today was trial and error and error and error.

Much of this week has been discovering ways that I am not sufficient to do things on my own. I can’t lead a small group on my own wisdom or drive. I can’t do the Christian walk on my own strength. I can’t plan my time or force things to happen at the time that is convenient for me or develop character at my own pace or anything.

But I’m not alone. And I’m loved. And I’m cherished in this moment, right now. From my humidity-frizzy head to my road-weay feet. Cherished all over the place.

Jesus, Kinder Kidz. I didn’t know at the time of writing this script that you would have these words spoken to me – that you love me and thatwhile you are excited for the next stage of my development, you enjoy me and you want me to enjoy the phase that I am in right now – to soak up the experiences and lean into the growing pain and breath deep these moments, these little wonders.

And I am so in love with your creation. You wired me for worship and I exult in your creation. I’m thrilled by the colours and every time I think back to the way that I would long for a New England fall – every time I think back and realize that you know the desires of my heart and brought me to a place where my heart would delight in you – every time I breathe in the sweet wildness of fall and watch golden leaves adrift on the wind –

I am thankful. I can let go of my need to control in light of my creator who knows what stirs my heart. You know what I want and what is best for me. And you will bring everything about in its fullness. And you don’t forget about those secret desires and longings, even when I have locked them away and forgotten them.

Thank you.

Snip.

It started with scissors.

I hate going to a hair salon because I feel like all the ladies there have all this secret knowledge acquired through dark rituals (probably). They even speak another language – with words like layering and ratting and texture. Unless I speak the secret code words, I’ll identify myself as a non-hair person and they’ll probably give me a purple mohawk.

You might scoff, but something similar happened at my brother’s wedding. My soon-to-be sister-in-law was getting her hair done gorgeously, and all the other bridesmaids (and me) made a pact that we would just have out hair done simply, ‘pinned out of the way,’ so as to keep all the attention on her.

So I sat down awkwardly in the hairdresser’s chair and declared that I wanted my hair simply ‘pinned back’.

She looked at me like I was a Martian, straightened my hair, stuck a couple of bobby pins in my hair and said, “Like that?”

Not knowing any better, I shrugged and said, “Sure.”

I hopped out of the chair and turned around to see ALL of the other ladies with their hair twisted and braided and curled in ways I didn’t know possible. And my sister-in-law had this magnificently complicated bun with stray curls framing her face and flowers interwoven between the strands and her veil magically attached to the back of her neck.

And me with my bobby pins.

See what I mean about code words? Continue reading

Repost: From The Journal

[[I don’t usually do this, but thus follows the most beautiful blog post I’ve read in a while. This comes directly from the wonderfully talented Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like.
Original post here
Jon’s site here. ]]

Below is what I wrote in my journal a few years ago after reading Matthew 11:
28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
 rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and 
humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke 
is easy and my burden is light.”

I am not asking you to
 complete yourself and then come to me.

I am asking you to come to me.
 Broken and burdened, infested with the most hideous lies about me and 
my nature. Covered in perpetual sin that you just can’t seem to shake.
 Because I don’t see that.
I see Christ. I see the blood of my son all
 over you.

I know you think you need to work through your doubt
 before you come to me. But that’s not true. I can’t wait that long for 
you to come. And how ridiculous is that lie? That you have to figure me 
out, know me and trust in me without fail before you can come to me and
 get to know me. I do have gifts for you. Big crazy gifts, but the
 biggest of all is my presence.

That’s what I am inviting you 
in to. My presence. That’s a gift I am inviting you into. My presence.
 That’s a gift I am going to give you every second for every hour of
 every day for the rest of eternity. Come to me. Come be in my presence.

It’s so crazy to think you have to perfectly accept that gift before
 you can stand in that gift. I’m just saying, “Come stand in it. Bask in
 it.”

Come stand in it filthy and let me cleanse you.

Come stand in it broken and let me heal you.

Come stand in it drunk on doubt and fear and let me renew a spirit of confidence and trust in you.

Just come stand in it.

Come stand in it covered with lies and misconceptions about who I am and who you are and let me reveal the truth.

Come stand in it worried and stressed and trembling and let me cover you with a peace that transcends all understanding.

Come, just come.

Come 
stand in it with a past you can’t fix and a future you can’t look at 
without grimacing and I will comfort you in this very moment.

Hoperise

(Note: Well, this is the end of this mini-arc connecting events from the previous chunk to the final arc. This last arc would be pretty much my favourite as it brings all the characters from their far-flung origins together for the final events… but for any of that to make sense, you would need the beginning. So time to rewind and make some sense of all this. Thanks for your patience and without further adieu, the end of an arc. Total Word Count: 54,603)

“Edmond! I didn’t expect to see you up here.” Jocelyn’s voice was mild; pleasant enough, but subdued by the early hour – or perhaps something weightier than that. She scanned him quickly, taking in the seemingly innocuous way his hand rested on the hilt of his dagger. “I hope I didn’t startle you.”

He smiled thinly. “Not at all. There’s just too many blasted people trying to kill me these days. Please, forgive my inhospitality. Would you care to join me?” Edmond asked, making a sweeping gesture to the bench beside him.

Nodding, the young woman made her way up the stairs. Her olive skirts brushed the stone and soft slippers padded gently across the tower and sat on the stone. She tugged her gray scarf tight against her shoulders in the predawn chill, and Edmond had a vision of a jade ball gown and the taste of licorice. Her deep emerald hair was shorter now, falling almost to her shoulders in loose, heavy curls.

Perhaps it was only him, but even though Jocelyn was in exile, wrapped in common clothing and with her hair ruffled from sleep, she still was stunning as the last time they’d met.

“How did you sleep?” She asked, a tone of concern in the casual statement.

Wiping the rheum from his eyes and rolling his shoulders back into alignment, joints grumbling in protest, Edmond said with some degree of surprise, “Apparently, well!”

Jocelyn made an abortive movement, as though to draw closer to his side, and then thought better of it. She frowned, pert lips pursing in thought. “You didn’t sleep out here, did you?”

Edmond chuckled. “That wasn’t my intention, but that was the outcome, yes. ” He rubbed his neck with a grimace. “I suppose I’m more used to falling asleep in the wind and rain than indoors, swathed in feathers.” Continue reading