21 July 2009

love love love

A funny thing recently has happened: a revelation on Love that has changed my perspective on things.

There have been several relationships and friendships that have been really hurtful, thorns-in-my-side in response to which I have repeatedly asked God, "Why are you doing this? Why have you forced me into relationship with a person so callous? Why, for this season, have you put me with someone who can be so mean, so selfish? What's the point?" In fact, a few have even begged the question, "Why are they in my life only to hurt me? I'm angry that You would put them in such proximity to me and the ones I love... What the heck are you doing?"

Had God made a mistake? Did He not know the pain and problems these people were causing? Or worse--Did He simply not care?

No. Though it has been years in the asking, the answer I've found is: No.

For years--probably since I was a girl of 13 and the idea of marriage first punctured my world--I have been praying specifically to be a student of Love. I have wanted to learn about Love, experience Love, rely on Love, change the world through Love, spread Love, give Love, receive Love. I have wanted Love in all possible forms, that my understanding of Love would be a 10 dimensional one, not a limited 2-D surface or flat Love--I wanted my Love to be round, new, breathing, growing, real.

My recent epiphany is simply this: God revealed to me that these people and their ties to me in whatever form or fashion have not been a mistake or happenstance--causing pain and havoc in my life--but strategically placed to teach me about Love. He has given me the best examples of learning how to Love like He does. To feel hurt and love anyway. To feel rejected and love anyway. To know that their words cut and actions bite, but choose to love anyway, because my understanding of Love is bigger than their words and actions.

It has changed everything.

What I once viewed as forms of hatefulness in my life I now see as opportunities to learn about Love--the stuff of substance not fairytales. So the challenges they put before me, the ways they seek out to hurt me, the things they say aimed at the heart strike true and create in me a deeper appreciation for God and a fuller understanding of Love.

[I've only just realized this, so needless to say it's still a struggle between choosing to be wounded or choosing to turn with love, but I finally get it... That's something. And I'm trying... That's something, too.]

What are you learning about?

12 July 2009

Christmas in July

So... I find it odd that lately I've been experiencing nostalgia over Christmas in the middle of July... I've been delighted to re-discover James Taylor's "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on my iPod, I've recently watched "The Holiday" and "Elf", and while meandering through HobbyLobby the other day, the thought of "all Christmas items on sale" gave me butterflies in my tummy.

I want fall to hurry up with cute sweaters, boots, jeans, and wraps, so that Christmas can get here sooner this year ;) I'm ready for yule tide carols, ugly sweaters, Christmas cheer, togetherness, family memories, new traditions, the warmth of a heavy blanket, the smell of apple cider, a reason for hot cocoa, and the overall feeling of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men that hovers around December.

Is this odd? or is this perhaps a longing--like my "desperately wanting" God-shaped hole--for what He wants (no matter the season)? peace. love. fellowship. counting blessing not costs. finding the good even in hardship.

I want Christmas in July. I want heaven on earth. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. We need it. Now. xoxo

10 July 2009

Desperately Wanting

I feel alive. I have a deeply rooted desire—need—to be outside, to hear the night noises of crickets and bullfrogs, to smell wet earth and farmland and dirt, to see the starts. It is an intense yearning in my bones and I cannot deny it. When it beckons, I go—wherever the road may take me. I must experience more of this incredible place God our Father created for us to live, to explore, to seek adventure. I miss this: the ability to pick up and take off on a whim with no explanations, worries, thoughts of money or budgeting, totally spontaneity—oh, to take a real random roadtrip again. I miss it—the freedom.

Travel helps. Going places, experiencing new pieces of the globe, partaking of new cultures, meeting new people—that is all part of filling up this specific hole in my heart.

Music helps. I know a large chunk of my heart lies with James Taylor in “September Grass,” "Desperately Wanting," and with “Blackbird singing in the dead of night,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney; my heart sways with “Something in the way she moves” and “Country Road;” and I know that “The long and winding road” and “Long ago and far away” will fill my heart up—with either love and tears (the good kind; the cleansing, releasing, appreciative tears.)

Quiet time helps. Spending time with the Lord, silence and waiting with Him, the quiet, delving into His word, remembering His promises—that fills up the God-shaped hole and pours over into the other hole, too.

Grant helps. Spending quality time with him, experiencing more of our life together, working through hopes and dreams, fears, and possibilities—that fills up the Grant-shaped hole and runs over as well.

But the hole remains; and when it longs for more, I must respond… and when I do, God is it good. It’s like all the good things in my life are magnified and the few negative factors disappear—as if looking intently at the stars answers, or better, quiets my questions and just lets me stand in awe—thankful for God’s goodness, faithfulness, and grace; grateful for the love Grant has for me; intrigued all the more for encounter more spaces of earth—like a drug that leaves me wanting more. It’s such a pure and untainted addiction.

I will continue to go. I will continue to reclaim my freedom. I will continue to follow where the road takes me. I will continue to answer the call and leave satisfied yet burning for more. I will continue to thank God and I will continue to love Grant—including him in as many pieces of my life and holes in my heart as possible.

01 July 2009

Encounter America

Finally! I can talk about what I've been working on for so long! This is the website for the emerging company: Encounter America. Please check it out, click around, and tell me what you're thinking! [more to come on this later!!!]