Monthly Archives: September 2013

Martha, Martha

Sometimes I look in my purse and I hear a little voice in the back of my head say, Martha, Martha. I carry around about a dozen file folders and notebooks in my purse because I have quite a bit going on, and I want quick access what I need if I need it. Martha, Martha. Last Sunday, I got tired of carrying so much around so I relocated my Bible and journal to a smaller purse before I went to church, and I carried one necessary file folder outside of the purse. It was lovely. But I kept adding to it throughout the week, and by Thursday, the smaller purse was stuffed with the original files and notebooks. Martha, Martha.

My mind is like my purse these days. Lots of different things that (I think) need my immediate attention. But all I really need is to be present. Take with me what I need for the day, leave the rest behind.

Tagged , ,

Doors

Do you believe the doors will open as you walk in the direction you’re called to walk?

I do.

If the doors aren’t opening for you, pause and consider that you might not be on the right path. I say this because I’ve taken detours where God closed all the doors in order to get me back onto the right path. Maybe you’re doing good things on the path you’re on, God-honoring things, and you think because of that He owes you open doors on that path. He probably has better doors on a different path.

Oh, I feel your protest: “But I’m doing good things now. Doesn’t He want me to do good things?”

Of course He does. Sometimes, though, there are better things. Once you are on the right path, you will realize how much striving you’ve been doing on the wrong path, trying to make doors open. And you will be amazed on the right path that it is God who opens the doors, not you.

Not that we can’t open doors by getting our little battering rams out and blasting through them, because we certainly can, and sometimes do. I remain convinced, however, that when that happens God continues to block our way until we get so tired of doing it ourselves we look to Him.

And when we look to Him, everything else fades away. We begin to see what’s important, what’s not. God redirects our paths to where we should have been all along. And the best part? He redeems that detour, that path we had no business on, for His glory and our good; it wasn’t a waste of time.

It’s now a regular part of my prayer life to ask God to open the right doors. And I believe that’s what He’s doing. As in right now.

Snack Crackers or a Meal: Thoughts on Waiting

Do I eat the snack crackers, which will fill my stomach and remove hunger, but otherwise have no nutritional value, OR do I eat a meal which takes preparation and time? Should I snack while I’m cooking or will that cause me to lose interest in the meal mid-prep?

I mean, I should probably eat something, before my blood sugar drops and I start doing crazy things, but the meal is so much more appealing. I’m afraid that if I eat the snack crackers, I will lose my hunger for the meal.

The nature of my decision-making lately.

If there is anything I’m (in)famous for, it’s settling for the good-enough and just-getting-by, instead of pursuing the great. This happens even when I know the great is out there. Why? Because good-enough and just-getting by are immediate and they are easy to settle into.

Great things in life (and I’m not talking about sports cars or mansions or anything like that, I mean living out God’s vision and call for you) require preparation. And because they need preparation, they also take time.

Great things in life require diligence and patience.

 

I Think I’m Falling in Love

No, not like that. Keep your hat on.

I’m falling in love with this.

Seattle Neighborhoods

And this.

Space Needle

And this.

Ballard

Oh, and this.

Fremont

And what’s not to love about this?

109d39df48a320c3024be07cf224587b

But is it just the character, the artsy-ness, the beauty that I’ve fallen for? Is it the cooler temperatures, coffee shops everywhere, and the ability to wear scarves, leggings and boots for more than a month out of the year? No; although, I must say these things are added bonuses.

The reason (I think) I have a heart and a vision for Seattle is the largely un-churched population. There are lots and lots of people who need Jesus. Not that we don’t have people like that here in the Bible belt, but there are proportionately more in Seattle. (Stated simply, because I’m useless when it comes to crunching the data, but these claims are statistically-supported).

This is not a new vision for me; in fact, it’s going on three years old. This is just the most I’ve done about it until now.

Will I end up in Seattle? I would like to say that I don’t know because I don’t want to make any assumptions about God’s will like I’ve done in the past, but I tend to think that yes, within the next year, I will be in Seattle.

Pray with me about this?

No Such Thing as a Lousy Job?

“There is no such thing as a lousy job, only lousy men who refuse to do it.” ~Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

It’s odd, I used to believe that quote was true. I guess I’d never worked a lousy job. I’d had lousy days at a job, but never had a job that was lousy.

I don’t necessarily think there are lousy jobs even now. I’ve discovered I’m willing to do almost anything to earn a living, and I’ve never turned my nose up at a job because it’s “beneath me.” No, I’m not that kind of person.

I do, however, believe there are lousy employers. Employers who don’t care about their employees, as is demonstrated by cruddy pay rates, lack of benefits, hostile work environments and the like. And I have started turning my nose up at the jobs they offer.

I have a feeling I’m about to be offered a job that a lot of people would consider lousy. I don’t think it’s lousy: it’s a similar environment to what I’ve worked in for years, and I hear the company is a competitive employer in its business. It’s not in my field, and I don’t want to make a career out of it, but I’m certain it will be a decent job. And at this time, that’s all I need.

I’m going to get a lot of flak if I take this job. People will say, “You left your full-time job to do this?” And it’s very likely that I did. Because believe it or not, this is a better job than that.

Getting Into Football

I’m paying attention to football this season for the first time in my life. I don’t really care about football (or sports in general), mostly because I’ve never lived anywhere that made me want to care about football.

But now, I’m seriously considering relocating (provided God opens the doors), and the team where I’m thinking about moving is 3-0, first place in the NFC Western Division. (Look at that, me talking football). I have a feeling I might like this team even if they weren’t winners, because this is a city that makes me care about football. I have a feeling I will continue being a fan even if I don’t move there.

Don’t get carried away with this confession, because if you’re picturing me on Game Day sitting in front of the TV with my jersey on, yelling at referees like I think they can hear me, tweeting my support, you’ve got it all wrong. At most, I follow the twitter feed of the game while I watch “Once Upon a Time.” Still, last year, I wouldn’t have cared at all.

Why can’t I muster this concern up for my home city and state teams? Maybe it’s more the sense of place I have when I think about this particular city, because I’m excited about pretty much every aspect of it, so naturally I’m excited about the football team too. I don’t know, I’m just going to roll with it.

Let’s go, Seahawks!!!

Project 365

“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings” (Proverbs 22:29).

I’ve decided to kick my writing up several notches: applying to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, devoting five hours a day to writing, and updating this blog every day for a year.

Why? Writing is my craft, and I want to excel in it. I believe God is calling me to make writing a priority, a discipline.

I don’t know where I will be six months from now, but I’m absolutely certain it will involve writing.

My content will be greatly diversified, as I’m just going to blog about what’s on my heart any given day. Could be one word, could be two thousand, but I’m going to write.

More Glorious and Majestic

“You are more glorious and majestic than the everlasting mountains” (Psalm 76:4).

109d39df48a320c3024be07cf224587b

I look at the mountain above (Mount Rainer, Washington) and I am blown away by its beauty. Every time I see it, I fall a little more in love with it, but it has nothing, NOTHING on God! He is more glorious, more majestic than this mountain. Than anything I dream of or desire.

Someday soon I hope to live near this mountain. I hope to experience it’s beauty in person. But if I never do, I have God, and He is infinitely more beautiful, more glorious, more majestic than this mountain. I have to remember that: I already have the Greatest, the Best.

Everything else fades as I fix my eyes on Him!

“All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

“You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know.”

~Chris Tomlin, Enough

Tagged , , , , ,

Celebrate With Me

Some people call it a birthday, but I think of it more as an anniversary, because it’s more than just a new life, it’s a growing relationship. This week, I’m celebrating five years with Him!

He spent a long time pursuing and wooing me, but honestly, I mostly ignored Him.  I felt unlovable and unworthy of His pursuit. As another man and other pursuits entered my life and I focused on them, He wasn’t even a blip on my radar. Eventually, that man and my other ambitions fell through, and miraculously, He was still there, insisting: I love you, you are Mine. And finally, five years ago, I believed Him.

Like any other relationship, it has had its ups and downs. I’ve been through fire and flood, though never alone: He has faithfully held my hand through it all. Even on nights when I’ve fallen asleep crying over very grievous situations, He draws me into Himself.

My heart yearns for the grand gestures of an extravagant love, and these desires have been met in my relationship with Jesus.

The first gesture was of course that He bore the punishment for my rebellion against God, and paved the way for restoration of the relationship that rebellion had destroyed.

The second gesture has been unveiling my identity in Him. I have always struggled with issues of self-worth, but Christ has been showing me through the Bible who I am in Him and how God really sees me. I have also learned not to give certain people stage time in my life anymore; people who have trampled my heart through consistently unkind words and actions.

The third gesture has been loving me through my less than lovable times. I am so thankful that God (unlike many humans) does not love me based on my lovability. He just loves me.

The fourth gesture is how He has orchestrated my life in good ways. Sure, there have been really hard times, but every single one of them has worked to my benefit. (And I’m not just saying that). If my life had gone according to my plan and what I thought was good at the time, I would have missed out on meeting so many people, doing so many things. For example, if I had gone to school five years ago as I had planned, I would have graduated before I had met Hope, Emily, Allyson, Whitney, and a whole host of other people. The past five years are FULL of examples like this.

And the fifth gesture I want to mention is His delight in me and my using my gifts and talents. I’ve been doing a lot of writing and producing lately, and most of it is not church- or ministry-oriented, but I feel that God is glorified in it because I am enjoying what He has given me.

Will you celebrate with me what God has done in my life over the past five years ? He has truly done great things!

 

Dear Jesus, thank You so much for Your faithful love for me. Thank You for giving Yourself so I can know You. Thank You for Your thoughts toward me, and that how You see me is so much different from how others see me, and how I sometimes see myself. Thank You for pursuing and loving me at my darkest, most hateful. Thank You for Your good plans for my life, even when I’m being stubborn or I just can’t see. And thank You for giving me the freedom to enjoy what You’ve given me.

I know a lot of people will think this is completely cheesy, and honestly, I don’t care. Your love is worth celebrating, and five years is a milestone. I don’t have the words to express my full gratitude, my full depth of feeling toward you. I can only say You are loving and good and faithful. 

I am so excited to see what You do in the next five years!

I love You, Jesus!

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,