the end.

This year is about to end. 2009 will kick it, and 2010 will be here before we can even say goodbye.

It's been a good year, I'd say. It's had its ups and downs for sure...they all do. I think I grew up this year, though. Maybe. I'm starting to wonder if we grow up more every year. There must be a lot of room for growth then because we are never grown up if we are always growing up. I'll try not to get discouraged. I guess grown ups are no fun anyways.

I thought about doing a year in review and going through some old things I'd written, picking and choosing my favorites. I've already shared those things, though. I realized that a more accurate reflection of my year would be to share something that I wrote but never posted...because I was too scared that people wouldn't understand it or wouldn't see what I was saying, or they would think it was too abstract.

Well here goes. I wrote this at the beginning of summer '09.

"When it happens what do you say? Do you look around you for the words, or find them hiding behind you, creeping like the past? Or do you glance ahead into the darkness of uncertainty and fumble around for a sentence that makes sense? It's a haze that wasn't self-induced, and it clouds the vessels surrounding your heart as you try to beat out a rhythm that rhymes. And as the blood puddles, leaving your severed arteries, you cry, and you search the recesses of your mind for one glimmer of light to give meaning to the sound coming out of your mouth. Who do you love? Who fills your mind as your body empties out onto the ground? Breathe your last few breaths and feel the oxygen burn your lungs, and as you gasp, find the strength to say that name. But what if your speech doesn't echo back, and your wayward voice is lost in the canyons that give no return for what they took from you. What if the wind forgets the author when it carries the message? The message falls on deaf ears, and no answer comes. The darkness taunts, "Pick a new name." But what if there is none. What if that was the only one. Please, God, no. Help me find a new name."

This image came to me when I was thinking about people being on their death beds (morbid? just bear with me). You always see in the movies where someone is dying and they ask for one person. They may be in the room. They may have to be found. Sometimes they haven't spoken to this person in years. But for some reason, this one person comes to their heart as they lie there dying. Love. They love this person. Their love is so strong that no matter what grievances they share, in their desperation, they cry out for that one person to comfort them as they die.

I would say that everyone has that person, that name, that they would ask for. And of course, in the movies, that person who was called comes running to the bedside, restitution is made, kisses are shared, and the person dies in peace. What struck me, though, were the times that I know someone has called out for their love, but that love was not returned. What if you were dying and the only name their heart wanted didn't want them back? Who else could they call for? Maybe no one.

This idea scares me more than anything else, I think. I don't want to leave this feeling depressed, though, because I am not. And I haven't been. It just makes me think. It has made me trust God more and more. We may not have tomorrow. We may not have tonight. But we're never really alone, even if we think we are. He is with us more than we'll ever know. But also, it has made me cherish the people around me - the people who I don't know if I'll see again tomorrow, because we never know. It's the simple things in life we need to learn to be thankful for. The little things.

Dave Matthews says, "Take these chances, place them in a box until quieter times, lights down you up and die."
I'm gonna take these chances and cherish this life and the people I love. I am so so blessed.


recently i've been all of content and dreaming.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Who am I to ever question God? The things that I see happening that I think are foolish or crazy, if they are from the Lord, they contain more wisdom than my mind can grasp.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were considered wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.

This semester I've been learning to trust that God knows what He's doing. I'm waiting to hear back from P.A. school, and it's nerve-wracking at best. The world is going to tell me if I'm good enough to get into their schools. Based on my worldly achievements (or lack of), I'm going to receive or be rejected admission into grad schools. I have often felt lacking, but have had to remember that God knows what's good for me. Also, in the real world where most of my friends have boyfriends, fiances, husbands, and even babies, I've had to rest in the fact that He knows exactly what I need. I'm not lacking because I'm single, I'm just right here right now. The world may say there's something wrong with me if I'm not "in a relationship," but I have to believe that God has a better plan for me, and perfect timing. Worldly standards mean nothing.

But God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are..

I'm so glad that I am not measured by things of the world. I'm glad that my life can appear foolish and weak to men, but be exactly what God wants for me.

..so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Jesus Christ, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

It's funny how forgetting myself and boasting in the Lord brings such relief from pressure and anxiety. Nothing I do that is measured by the world matters. All I do is for Him and His sake, and all that He provides is perfect and in perfect timing. His plan for me, however foolish it might seem, is absolutely perfect. Dave Matthews has a song called Recently, and the lyrics say "Recently I've been, all of content and dreaming I have been...people stare and we just ignore everything, people stare and we just ignore them, and they go away, go away."

I like the foolishness of God, because it lets me rest easy. It lets me enjoy the life He's given me, and wait expectantly for the joys and blessings He has for me.

Recently I've been all of content and dreaming...and I'm looking forward to much more :).


ten things.

Ten things I love about life right now, because I think it's good to take a look around every once in a while. "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller...love him)

10. I love living in Bryan/College Station. Growing up in the big city was nice, but I've found that I prefer the small towns, and would like to stay in them as long as possible. For now, that's until May 31, 2010.

9. Thanks to Tiffany Garrett and country dancing, I've been enjoying country music lately. I feel like for all the smack I've talked I need to say it again just to solidify: I've been enjoying country music lately. Maybe it goes with the small-town feeling.

8. I love dancing. No need to expound.

7. I had a McDouble from McDonald's the other day. Mmmm. :) I love those things. 99 cents of heaven in just a few small bites.

6. I love riding in the car with Ben (my brother). Not only do I enjoy his '99 GT Mustang and how he drives it, but I also love his wide and sometimes unlikely taste in music. I never know what it's going to be: Brittney, Fergie, Tonic, Linkin Park. I love how we can drive and say nothing important at all and just enjoy the scenery and the music.

5. I love the Aggies! Anyone sitting by me at the t.u. football game would probably say some funny things about me. I really enjoy good Aggie football.

4. I love going home for the holidays. I had to work the first half of this thanksgiving, and I realized how thankful I've been in the past to get to go home. Working 15 hours over a holiday isn't fun, but it makes going home that much better.

3. I love coming home to 4 girls. It's like a round-the-clock party. I love pink house parties :).

2. I love starting my run when it's dark outside and watching the sun come up. I like being there when the day begins. I don't know why, but it feels like I'm witnessing something important that's happening, and my day is better off because I saw it.

1. I love driving with the windows down. It's probably my favorite prayer time. I feel close to Jesus when I'm driving and the wind is blowing in and the sun is shining down and a good song is playing (usually Dave Matthews).


truth in disguise: my president is black.

This is the image of a t-shirt that was crafted after a song written by "Young Jeezy." President Obama came to visit Texas A&M, and was welcomed by former President George Bush Sr. to hold a lecture on service. Honestly, I think there is no better place President Obama could have come to talk about this, considering A&M is one of the biggest proponents of community service and opportunities for volunteerism. I was disappointed, however, when I saw people wearing these shirts.

God has ordained President Obama to be the leader of our country. I respect and fear God, so I will respect President Obama as my leader as long as he has authority over this country. I have no problems with his race, and would never consider that a setback or advantage to his position. He is a person leading our country. I do have a problem being associated with "racist conservatives" who don't appreciate or applaud his race. I am not racist, nor do I believe that conservatism on a whole promotes racism. After all, for the past 200 years, we have not been wearing t-shirts that say "My President is White."

If you don't want President Obama's race to be a factor, don't make it one. I'm not.


truth in disguise: my favorite song.

I love finding truth in unlikely places. It reminds me of how big God truly is, and how He was here before me and will be here after me. There's a missions poster in my office that reads "Take Jesus to China." I disagree. Jesus is already in China, we should take the knowledge of Him and deeper understanding to China. Jesus is everywhere and in everything, even in places and situations that He seems hidden or even absent.

Unfortunately, this world is full of evil as well. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) But the presence of evil and deception does not necessarily mean the absence of Truth. Jesus permeates all aspects of life - the religious and the secular. We see this with Joseph in Genesis 50:20 when his brothers sold him into slavery: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result..."

All this being said, I'm going to start recording the curious and sometimes strange places from which I glean Truth. It will be my "truth in disguise" collection or series or whatever you would like to call it. The purpose of my findings are not to display theologically sound arguments, because most of the artifacts I find will probably be heretical. The purpose is to see God's Truth everywhere, and to see Jesus working in all things, because He does.

I thought it fitting to begin with my favorite song: Bartender by Dave Matthews Band. I love Dave Matthews. I don't just like him and his music, I love them. (Here's why if you're wondering, posted as a comment to my friend Sarah's wonderful blog.) I love his music for many reasons, and this song is just one of them. I've included the lyrics below and the title is a link to the actual song if you're interested in listening; I highly recommend it.

I love this song because it is raw. It's a gritty picture of a man desperate for love in his life, desiring fondness from his brother, respect from his sister, guidance and discipline from his mother, and answers from his father. It's even more beautiful because the music sings this longing in the deep bass and soulful chords. He talks about how he longs for the wine that set Jesus free. I see this "wine" as a metaphor for life that "set Jesus free after three days in the ground." C.H. Spurgeon describes wine in Scripture as "the symbol of the richest earthly joy." This song speaks of a longing for freedom and rich joy in the best way Dave knows how to talk about it - wine, a rich, earthly joy. And yet it is clear that in the song, he realizes what many do not, that if we seek the wrong things to find freedom, we will surely die. He talks about longing the same wine that "strung Judas from the tree." He begins the song asking the bartender to fill his glass, and progresses by telling the bartender to look and see the "wine that's drinking me." That thing which originally was sought to bring life has turned into something that is controlling and confining him, ultimately to the point of death.

What a beautiful picture of a lost soul, blindly struggling and reaching for something he cannot see and does not know and yet is placing all of his hope in for a chance at freedom and life. I love this picture, because even believers can relate to the longing we have in our souls to be right with Jesus. Paul says in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." The difference for us, however, is that we know the solution. We know that the "wine" that brings freedom is Jesus Christ. "Your love is better than wine." (Song of Solomon 1:2) His love is better than _______ (insert anything).

I hope that if you've never heard this song, you'll give it a shot. If you have heard it, I hope that when you listen to it now, you'll see Jesus in it. That's what He wants us to do, after all, see Him in everything.

If I go
Before I'm old
Oh, brother of mine
Please don't forget me if I go

Bartender, please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus that set him free
After three days in the ground

Oh, and if I die
Before my time
Oh, sweet sister of mine
Please don't regret me if I die

Bartender, please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus that set him free
After three days in the ground

Bartender, please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus that set him free
After three days in the ground

I'm on bended knees, I pray
Bartender, please

When I was young, I didn't think about it
Now I can't get it out of my mind

I'm on bended knees
Father, please

Oh, and if all this gold
Should steal my soul away
Oh, sweet mother of mine
Please redirect me if this gold

Bartender, you see
The wine that's drinking me
came from the vine that strung Judas from the Devil's tree
His roots deep, deep in the ground

Bartender, you see
The wine that's drinking me
came from the vine that strung Judas from the Devil's tree
his roots deep, deep in the ground,in the ground

I'm on bended knees
Oh, Bartender, please

I'm on bended knees
Father, please

When I was young, I never dreamed about it
Now I just want to run and die

I'm on bended knees
Oh, Bartender, please
Bartender, please



"Life is a long lesson in humility." (James M. Barrie: Scottish dramatist and novelist)

This is so true, or it should be. There's nothing quite like realizing that you're wrong about something, or you've wronged someone. It's hard to hear when you're wrong. I love it when God shows us how small we are, though. I love it about as much as I love being sore after a long run, or having to scrub the toilets, or maybe changing a diaper. (Please note the sarcasm in my tone.)

I don't really love these things, but I love the results: toned legs, clean potties, happy babies. The result of being humbled is seeing the Lord exalted. Wow. Great result. Probably worth feeling small.

I believe what we often forget is that every day of our life, every minute even, should be a lesson in humility. Frankly, we are wrong quite a bit, because we make our lives about ourselves. We think about ourselves; we go about our business; we talk about our problems and joys. It's just not about us.

Micah 6:8 says, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

Walk humbly with your God. Don't just take one "humble step," and don't get to the point where God makes you take a "humble fall," walk humbly, continuously. That's why the quote at the beginning strikes such a chord with me. My life should be a long lesson in humility. If I'm not being reminded by others, I should remind myself daily and by the minute that I am not more important than the Lord, His plans, and His people.


in retrospect, and a little something extra.

I absolutely love the fall. I love it because of what the season represents - a falling away of the old things of the year and a making room for the new. I love it because the weather cools down, and for just a moment (in Texas), the sun is still shining while the breezes blow cool air. Nothing beats the feeling of warmth inside tinged with a cool bite on your skin. I love it because when it rains, like it is now, I can bundle up on the couch listening to the sounds of the raindrops tapping on the window and skipping through the puddles.

I love change. It can be difficult at times, but I love it, and I love the results it brings. Regina Spektor says in one of her songs that "leaves become most beautiful when they're about to die." I love that process.

I think fall provokes a looking back. Reflection. I think just like New Years is important to look forward hopefully and expectantly, fall is vital preparation for this. You can't move ahead without learning where you're coming from.

This spring I wrote my own New Year's Revolution. I had a list of goals to accomplish, so let's see how I did:

1. wake up early
Check. I've been waking up really early recently, but I would say my average wake-up time for this year would be between 6:30 and 7:30. Recently, this time has moved to 5, but I'm finding that Benjamin Franklin was right: "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

2. work out at least 3 times a week
Check. I started doing this consistently in January and kept it up pretty well until now. When I started training for my triathlon in July this became almost daily, and I've continued this training schedule except for a 2 week hiatus which I'll discuss soon.

3. do something active once a day

4. memorize more scripture
....check. I hesitate because this has started in the past few weeks. It's hard for me to discipline myself here, but I'm trying to be faithful because the rewards are great. Psalm 1 says blessed is the man who meditates day and night on the law.

5. run a 1/2 marathon
I still have yet to do this. I did, however, do a triathlon, and am currently training for a marathon. If I complete that, this won't be so important anymore.

6. think on Jesus more
This has happened as a result of other things on this list. More about that in later paragraphs.

7. cook at home more
Check! This has been wonderful, fun, nutritious, etc. I eat simply (no extravagant recipes), but I enjoy spending time with the roommates, trying to get Tiffany to eat veggies with me, and just being at home.

8. write more
I'm still working through this one, but hey! It's still October! I have two more months to the end of the year.

9. read more
Check. Also a recent addition to my schedule, but a change nonetheless.

10. be quiet more
Definitely check. I love the quiet solitude of eating alone and reading, or wandering through a bookstore for two hours by myself. I like running by myself, where all I can hear are my feet hitting the ground.

I don't think we hold ourselves accountable enough. I think we should use the fall to pull out our resolutions/revolutions and see how we're doing. The last part of my resolution was the most important one to me: I wanted to learn discipline and grace, two things that seem opposing. I have been so blessed because the Lord has shown me how it really works.

Discipline leads to an understanding of grace and freedom.

How? Well I stumbled across my answer when I started training myself physically. For four years of college I have been "busy" or so I thought. This summer I had two jobs, took 7 hours, and trained every day. And I wasn't swamped, I still had a social life, and slept 7-8 hours a night. Unbelievable? Maybe. But it's reality for me, everyday.

I have discovered that being disciplined leaves little to no room for ungodliness. I have a hunch that Paul was an athlete on some level. He spoke about physical training so much. One of my favorite passages is in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

"I beat my body." His harsh words almost astonish me, but I understand now. I think we separate the physical and the spiritual aspects of life, and I believe Paul knew that they are not different. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. I think there are differences between spiritual disciplines and physical disciplines, but I have found that one leads to the other in my life. For me, leading a highly disciplined life is key, and I don't feel confined, rather, I feel very free.

The two weeks after my triathlon I stopped training, I ate horrible foods, and I stayed up late because I thought, "Well I'm free now, so I can do what I want." I was miserable. I didn't feel good, I wasn't motivated, my spiritual life suffered because I was lazy with my time, and this list could go on. I realized that I was free when I had a bed-time, when I woke up early, ate healthy food, exercised, and organized my schedule in a reasonable way. My days were full, but I didn't feel busy and I wasn't stressed out. It was amazing to realize that my "strict training" was giving me freedom and joy. This freedom leads me to realize the Lord's presence, make good use of my time, as well as set goals for me to reach.

Who would have thought that freedom comes from discipline? And not the kind of discipline put on me by someone else, and most certainly not the kind of legalism or discipline I place on people around me. That does not bring freedom. It is only the discipline practiced by myself, under the umbrella of Jesus and his word, that brings freedom.

How sweet it is to experience the kind of freedom that grows you and spurs you on.



I'm learning so many things right now that I feel overwhelmed as I come to write! I don't know where to begin, and my thoughts are hardly organized. So these are the skeletons of what I see happening and what God is teaching me.

...the greatest freedom comes from grace and firm, hard discipline...

...the freedom that we have (mentioned above) enables us not to dance close to sin, but it does enable and encourage us to dance close to sinners...

...the Holy Spirit is alive and well in me, or He should be at least, and that provides power in my life; so am I living in such a way that requires the power of the Holy Spirit...

...do I move the heart of God, because scripture says that I can...

...if I talk about what I love, why am I silent when it comes to sharing Jesus with strangers...

These are all things moving around my brain. I expect to go through them one by one in detail. I'd love to hear input on these topics, or if you have one that you'd like to hear my thoughts on first, let me know.


untitled...suggestions welcome.

I have a feeling of longing that's wisping like the leaves on the ground.
If the air catches just right you can smell the wet dew that's fleeting and fleeing the wind,
Sure to dry it up if it catches on.
I wish I could explain the choke in my chest,
Like a foreboding sadness, unexplained and unattained, yet somehow gripping me all the same.
The prophets foretold what no one could know and we believed them,
Ducking under the trees to protect us from the piercing rays of light.
Truth is all the same when you call it by it's name,
But I like to call it by it's heart.
It's the difference between sound and sadness, love and madness,
My eyes are clouded with the jumbled letters.
And the fog never clears.


Modest Mouse on trust.

This summer has been crazy! I have been in Biochemistry and Genetics, working 30+ hours at Central Baptist and CarePlus Medical family practice, training for a triathlon, and still managing to have a blast with the roommates at the same time. I have been experiencing a lot of new things this summer - new training, new diet, new music, new roommates, etc. It took a little adjustment....okay, it took a lot of adjustment. But God has been faithful, as always.

One band in particular that I've been listening to is Modest Mouse...kind of a throw-back to the 90's. One line from their song Missed the Boat has played through my mind over and over the past few months:

Our ideas held no water but we used them like a dam.

I love the picture that paints. And I have done this all my life. I take my ideas, whether they be practical or extravagant, I assume that they are true and right ideas, and I build upon these self-made truths to try to make them real in my life. But my ideas are just ideas, and in the end, they hold no water.

A dam that doesn't hold water is useless. My ideas are meaningless when used as a foundation to build life upon. And yet, I have done this time and time again, only to have my dam break, and water flood all over what I've created with my two small hands.

If I had to sum up the summer in one word it would be trust. God has impressed upon my heart this simple yet complicated discipline. It's simple because I don't really have to do anything except let go of the ideas I'm holding onto. It's complicated because I love my ideas. What I've learned is that trust is me loving God more than I love my ideas, thereby allowing myself to let go of my ideas in exchange for the opportunity to hold onto a God that has never failed me, and will never fail me. His truth "holds water" and is a firm foundation.

My ideas and hopes and dreams are flawed, and make faulty dams that break. If I trust God, however, He can filter through my thoughts and ideas, build on the ones that line up with His truth, and toss out the ones that hold no water.

I trust Him. It's that easy, and that difficult. As I've practiced this discipline (and it does take practice), I have found that I am content, watching Him juggle all of my ideas for me. I think that He must have a particularly good time with mine, seeing as many of them are quite outlandish and may appear unrealistic. But hey, with God all things are possible, right? I just take a deep breath, strap myself in, and hold on for the ride.

Someone asked me the other day if I was a "glass half-full" kind of girl, or a "glass half-empty." I used to say I would call the glass "half-full." I wouldn't say I fall under either of those categories anymore. Things are the way they are, and I don't spend too much time anymore trying to make sense of what I see. Learning how to trust has changed my attitude, perspective, and even my habits. And I am so thankful for God working this in my heart. Now, I think I'm the person that looks at the glass, takes note that there is water in it, and is just really glad it's there.


rearview mirror.

Wordles are cool pictures that measure the frequency of words used in your blog or paper, and creatively display them so that you can see what you've been writing about. It's kind of a fun way to look back and see what's been going on by just taking a brief look at the picture. In light of that, I've included the links to a few posts that I've written over the years that just happen to be personal favorites. Thanks for reading; it encourages me!

Learning to love wine with my cheese.
Ipod - "Shuffle Songs"
it's a new year's revolution.


here comes the sun.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket --safe, dark, motionless, airless-- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

C.S. Lewis wrote this in his book The Four Loves. I believe every word of it. I have felt every word of it. It is a scary thing to reach out and love the unlovable around you. It's a scary leap to leave safety for the first time and take your heart out of it's carefully kept casket. You expect to be rewarded by your risk, and so you take your heart out and throw it to the world, hoping and waiting for cheers, reciprocated tenderness, affection, or even kind words. Shockingly your heart comes back, hanging its head, dragging its feet, covered in blisters, worn out by the heat it received from the ones it was trying so desperately to love.

Jesus said to His disciples, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19) The world is who Jesus commanded us to love. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek.

Battered and bruised. Is it even worth it? I find myself asking this lately, is my broken heart worth it? I have loved and felt pain because I loved and gave myself to people around me, and yet I don't think I've even tapped into the deep, deep wells of what love really is. All I did was raise the stakes in my poker game, because I put a part of me out there. Instead of playing for cheap coins, I "bet" my heart, so to speak. I gave the world something that is vital to my life, integral to my existence.

My head says it's worth it. My bleeding heart still fights the urge of self-preservation. John 16:33 says, "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Christ showed us how to love. He died on the cross. He experienced God turning His back on His only son. He bore the weight of all our sins. His followers denied Him, mocked Him, spit on Him. And He loved.

I hope my heart is never whole. That may seem contrary to popular belief, but God's heart isn't whole, at least not in the sense that we think it is...He gives it to all of us, every minute of the day. His heart is complete. His heart is full. His heart has the Spirit. His heart is perfect. But He gave us His heart and His love when He gave us His son. And we are to live like Him.

I pray that I would not be afraid to unlock the casket of my heart and let it bring life and love to those around me. I hope that I learn to love enough that my heart wears out and blisters and tears until the pain is so great only my Savior can stitch it back up. My heart will be whole when it knows the pain of being given away, has felt the needle of repair, and then is called back into duty, even though the wounds haven't completely healed.

The Beatles didn't see the wisdom in their song, but I see it and have felt it. I fear more that I may lock my heart up, never to see the sun/Son again.

So, broken hearts, "Here comes the Son, it's all right...."


dream, little darling, dream. (dmb)

"Of the things that followed I cannot at all say whether they were what men call real or what men call dream. And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and the things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth." (C.S. Lewis)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave a speech titled "The Solitude of Self," in which she stated, "Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another." She spoke on the fact that every person is alone in his/her mind. There is no one (except God) that can see and feel and understand the inner workings of my mind. So there is nothing earthly for me to connect to on all levels. There is nothing that will fully know and understand my thoughts, my mind, my heart, on the same level that I do, and that God does. This gives Psalm 139 so much more meaning and potency:

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me...you perceive my thoughts from afar...you are familiar with all my ways..."

There is no one who will know me like He does. No one.

So our thoughts, our dreams - are they real? If no one else understands them, or even sees them, what are they? "...spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth." Sometimes I believe that my dreams are more real than anything that many men see.

Psalm 139 ends with this: "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." David asks God to search his heart, search his thoughts, his dreams, and see if there is any offensive way in him. He then asks God to lead him in the way everlasting. I believe God leads us in our hearts and dreams before we ever act. He leads us in the secret places that no one else sees, and then He trusts us to take the step in the direction that He has planted in our hearts.

Isaiah 30:21 says, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the Way; walk in it.'" God, lead us in the way everlasting.

Don't be discouraged if you feel alone in your thoughts and dreams. You see, when those dreams become real, you get to share them. It's just the beginning stages, when the dream is born in your heart, and slowly forming and taking shape, that you feel alone with your thoughts. But be sure to listen, for your God is whispering tender and powerful words to fuel the fire that your loves and desires will become. And tread bodly and carefully...in the way everlasting.

I'll end with these song lyrics that spoke to my heart. I feel like I'm walking under the stars all the time, asking God to know me, and to love me like no one else can. Only He can lavish all good things upon me.

Dream(Priscilla Ahn)
"Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.

I had a dream
That I could fly from the highest tree.
I had a dream."


making room.

Well it's been a month since I've written. I don't usually go this long intentionally, but I was challenged by a friend who told me that I should try putting to practice some of the things I write about. So I did. I took a step back from philosophizing and seeking out new Truths, and looked at the Truth I had already been gathering and piling up in little neat piles all around me.

It was revealing. Some Truth is hard to swallow. It's a lot easier to discover something, set it aside, and go start hunting new treasure, especially if what you've found is not pretty. I think it's beneficial to dust off what we find, study it a little closer, and see what value it has, not just in itself, but in how it reflects God.

This isn't my avenue to list out the things that I've done differently in this month of working with the wisdom and Truth that I already have. What I'm doing isn't as important as that I'm doing them. I think that goes for all of us. As long as what we do lines up with Truth, the important thing is that we're doing it. It's easy to hear the Word and God's Truth...a lot harder to examine it and do what it says.

James 2...."22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."

Dave Matthews has a song called the Raven, and in it he says, "You never know it all, the ground beneath is nothing more than your point of view." It's true. If you don't move around, you don't see new things in new ways. And you don't change. And you don't move forward. And if you aren't moving forward, you're stuck in the places you've been...and frankly, I don't want to stay in those places.

So thank you, friend, for telling me to do what I say. And thank you Jesus for always doing what you say. I uncovered a lot of wisdom that had been collecting dust this past month. I sorted through a few boxes, and threw some away...for good.

And guess what. I made some room.


Truth on the rocks.

People need challenges. They need others to challenge them, and they also need to challenge themselves. I believe every aspect of our person, every nook, ever cranny, needs to be stimulated, questioned, and challenged. Otherwise, that aspect will die, or even worse, run away with the reins and go wild. That's one reason why I think we find people at the bars on a Friday night chugging the alcohol, and looking for someone to go home with. Their senses and intellect and heart have not been challenged, and so what's the point. They find something else that makes them feel alive for one night, and then it's back to their realities of dullness and consistency.

We should be constantly looking for things to awaken us, to bring our senses and our minds back to life. Sometimes I think that religion helps kill this. It tells us to go to one place to find Truth and Love, and to look for it in the other people that are going to that one place. And let me say this, the Bible is the ultimate source of Truth, but Jesus is not confined in the Bible. Jesus is alive.

One aspect of myself that I find hard to keep challenged is the part of me that looks for and finds Truth and Love everywhere. I picture myself as somewhat of a wanderer that picks up Truth and Love along the way, wherever it has fallen on the ground. But not a lazy wanderer, an impassioned adventurer - looking for Truth and earnestly seeking out Love. The problem is the church is not encouraging this quest, but the world does - the artists, and the lost, and the "weirdos", are all teaching to keep an eye out for that truth and transformation (they're just not talking about real Truth all the time).

But it's there - Truth. It's there in abundance. In the holy and the secular of this world. God created it to be there. He made creation to hold Truth; He made man to hold Truth. The fall just enabled us to carry around good Truth and bad truth at the same time. And so with the fall, the earth and man in it acquired tons and tons of lies along with the Truth. But we shouldn't stop looking. To avoid the lies, we shouldn't want to miss the Truth that is to be found out there. We just need help - we need the Holy Spirit to help us discern, and we need other people who are seeking Truth in all places like we should be.

If Jesus ate with sinners, why would Truth only be found in the church? I don't think it would, and I don't think it should. Jesus told His disciples that if they stopped praising Him, the rocks would cry out in praise. Rocks. If we look, we can find Truth there, too. And God created man, and it was good. The fall brought lies and evil into the equation, but God still created man to be good. And somewhere among all the deception and lies, is Truth - the Truth that we were created to be in His image.

That's why even the bartender has Truth for his customers, and why the drunk man speaks Truth without knowing it. And why I can be at a Dave Matthews concert, surrounded by a bunch of people getting high who are just looking for the wrong truths, and see Jesus, and hear Truth in the lyrics of the music that seems as if it was composed for the purpose of sharing and revealing Truth.

It's only Truth if it aligns with the words that Jesus spoke, and the words of the Bible that He has given us. But that's not the only place to find it. If it were, then what would bring the drunks at the bar to the church in the first place? I like to believe they found some Truth at the bar and it made them thirsty for more.

So please challenge me to do this, and challenge yourselves. Don't close your eyes when you're outside because you're afraid of the lies. Seek out the Truth. Go outside and get dirty looking for it. Uncover some beautiful Truth that God has spoken into this world, whether it be through creation, or through one of His created beings.

I think we believe that the only way Truth can be drunk is straight - cold, hard, Truth. I believe there is Truth in that statement. But sometimes when we find Truth, it's not in that form. We have to whittle away the lies and the half-truths that have been built around it to get it in its purest form. That's our job, though, to whittle away, and search, and passionately seek out Truth, wherever it may be hiding.

Drink it straight when you find it that way, but don't be afraid to order Truth on the rocks. You may just have to try a little harder to taste it, but therein lies the challenge. And when we're challenged, we grow.



So as a senior, I'm compiling a list of some of my favorite memories in college. I'll probably include them on here intermittently.

Sophomore year, I had just moved into the Pink House with Amy Bradley (now Grimme), Amanda Scott, Amanda Gentry, and Abby Anderson (now Perry). It had been raining all day, and was continuing into the night. Abby unfortunately was sick and already in bed. The rest of us decided that some fun needed to be had :).

So we piled into a car and made our way to the Texas A&M golf course where we proceeded to run rampant in the rain, through puddles and over nicely-mowed greens. During our adventure we saw a skunk, which AScott chased all the way to a bunch of shrubs, and I belly flopped (or actually face-planted) in a sand trap (which was filled with water, so I mistakenly thought it might be a pond....). I was actually dumb enough to try that little stunt again, resulting in a second equally painful face-plant.

The night ended with us racing back to the car, the only casualty being a couple of bruises from my mishap, and about 50 ant bites on Amanda Scott's legs.

I love college :).


I don't have a title yet, but this is a poem for/about my dear friend Renee

Laughter rings out in the distance strong and true.
It continues indefinitely -
Echoing across the wind,
The music carries without fading;
It is far-reaching as it travels
And penetrates ears to infect hearts with joy.

The joy is enduring and rich.
The source is surprising - a girl
Standing tall and thin, she does not hear the melody she sings.
Her sweet smile is somewhat sad and gives meaning
To the light in her eyes that mischeviously dances
With her soft, brown curls that get caught in the wind.

The cold wind wraps her flowing dress around her small frame.
It is as if she is frozen in time -
Waiting among the silent trees, speechless,
The deepest parts of her scream for warmth,
But sound is lost along the way
And what's left of her cry surfaces in hot tears.

The tears trace the lines of her face.
They are not in vain -
Carrying the silent screams of her heart,
They are warm rivers revealing a hidden source
Of heat that she does not see or understand,
But it slowly and steadfastly thaws her Spirit.

Her Spirit is learning what her laughter has always known.
She is free -
Trusting in the life-giving source in her soul,
She is not afraid, and boldly sings
The music from her heart she hopes to someday hear,
And she clings to this hope with faith.

This faith is unseen, but all around her.
It is slowly proving its presence -
Whispering Truth in her ear,
And softening her smile with its cool touch,
Her faith is not missing - it thrives.
After all, it is the wind that carries her laughter.


it's a new year's revolution.

2009. It's gonna be fine!

Not fine as in, "Hey how are you?" "Oh..I'm fine."

But fine as in, "Oooh, that be fine!"

I was talking to a friend the other night about New Year's resolutions. Actually, I prefer to call them revolutions - more gets done, that way. Well, my friend so wisely reminded me that we should be making "revolutions" all the time; we should constantly be examining our lives to see what needs to change or improve, and then we should ask God to kindly help us in our daunting endeavor. But, we decided after some discussion that the New Year is a friendly and helpful marker to put a date on our goals, and to crack down on those bad habits.

So here they are...My New Year's Revolutions (in no particular order):
1. wake up early
2. work out at least 3 times a week
3. do something active once a day
4. memorize more scripture
5. run a 1/2 marathon
6. think on Jesus more
7. cook at home more
8. write more
9. read more
10. be quiet more

I keep them vague, not to avoid actually accomplishing them, but because revolutions build. Revolutions rarely start out fully defined at the beginning, rather, they begin with some sort of unrest. Then this unrest is pinpointed and developed into seeking out a solution, and this solution turns into a revolution. I guarantee you the Revolutionary war didn't begin because of just one cause - unrest developed into a list of reasons for the revolt, and then revolution ensued.

My revolutions are a result of retrospect, into the year 2008. By looking at this list, you get a sort of antithesis to what 2008 looked like for me. I didn't get up early, I didn't cook at home, and so on. These are broad categories, but in my reflectiveness on where I saw failure in 2008, I see this list as a moving upward and onward into 2009.

I have come to sum up 2008 for myself using two words: independence and selfishness. I definitely grew up last year - I feel like I learned more about what it means to be an adult, have a job, make some money, spend too much money, save money, take care of myself, not rely on other people, and just make all my decisions for myself. I had a lot of freedom, and out of that freedom grew independence. But out of that independence, selfishness reared its ugly head. I did what I wanted when I wanted, and I not only didn't think I needed other people and their help, but I didn't want it. There was no surrender to others or to the Lord, because it was mine - this life was for me.

Looking back, I see how my independence brought me confidence and a strong sense of identity, but it also brought me a lot of disregard for things that didn't concern me. I'm relearning this balance.

Sometimes I think I have to tip the scales in order to learn how to keep them even. My words for 2009: discipline and grace. It seems selfishness drives out necessary discipline, and independence has the ability to scare away grace. I never want to get to the point where I am more important than the life and training He has called me to, and I never want to be so assured that my competence might be better than His grace.

So I'm packing my independent bags and reaching for the thought that maybe I need someone, someday at least. And I'm going to start the slow process of killing off selfishness - this will be harder than it seems, I'm afraid. And I'm going to start whispering the stern words of discipline and the kind comforts of grace, and maybe, just maybe.....a revolution will break out.