Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 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."
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
You've all heard correctly, I moved to Minnesota. And a lot of you are wondering... "Um, why?" Great question. I ask myself that same thing about 47 times a day. I think that as the days have gone by it's that number is potentially decreasing, but I don't know, yet cause today is the first time I counted, since you asked of course.
I felt like it was time to start settling into some sort of career. I've wanted to everything from teaching English, to working in an orphanage overseers, to opening up my own non-profit daycare for struggling moms. And... I've traveled. I've traveled all around the states and Europe and have loved it. I've gotten to intern at an amazing church and build lifelong relationships. I've gotten to live in Portland and go to a big University and experience college life, I've gotten to have a real adult job as a program manager in a beautiful life-changing organization where I saw lives completely restored and children healed. And through a series of events... I am where I am! My job title is Social/Emotional specialist. I work with 3-5 year olds making sure that they are socially and emotionally on track.
I wanted to finish school, but didn't want to take out loans, and after serving in Americorps for a year, they give you an education award which is about a $1,000 less than what it costs to attend Portland State University. So I figured, I would serve for a year, in a new place, gain some new skills, build the resume and then go back to school. And maybe by then, I would have the gusto and vision to finally get my degree. Yes, part of my slow education has been due to the fact that I have consistenly worked a full-time job and gone to school and kept up a solid social life. But the other factor that has stopped me from making the big commitment, is that I really didn't want to graduate with a degree that I wasn't going to use.
Otherwise known as: Spamtown, USA (Hormel headquarters)
Fun facts: It has a horrific smell (kudos Spam) about 50% of the time your outside. My neighborhood is called Taco Flats (I'll let you guess why). People here call lunch, dinner - and dinner, supper. There is one section of the one grocery store, that is organic, I live there. Truly, I live there. Everyone in Austin knows the one girl, with the green race car, that has the loud muffler, and everyone thinks she should get a ticket. In the 1980s there was huge strike at the Hormel factory, the strikers lost, and since then Hormel has brought in a lot of refugees from the Sudan.
I'll keep updating on life here. Please call, email, text me. Because, it is a bit lonely right now!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
What I love about art
is it's terrible beauty
The color and darkness
The joy and terror
It is full and empty
Breathtaking and oppressive
each piece hewn from the mind and soul of someone expressive
And I respect that
Each demonstration may not cause my deep exhalation
But, I respect that person, because they brought their heart, their life out into the open
Some moment born into the world caught their heart and as if they couldn't hold their fingers back from the brush.... They express.
and they are better for it, lighter
Because their expression releases them
And, I get that
Maybe it's the most terrible painting I've ever beheld....
But, I get it
Are we not those paintings?
Terrible, awful, brilliantly canvassed, framed so ornately, meticulously stroked and paint thrown at walls, sculpted of old doorknobs and fishing line
Are we not these sculptures?
Each standing in representation of some victory triumphant, some moment of failure or fault
Some time in their life filled with hope
And just like our humanity, I am drawn in or repelled
Because we all want to be known and exposed and for the layers of our hearts to be held and examined, looked on intentionally and with careful discretion
We create, because we want to be known
We want Him to know, them to know
Show the world something
And who's to say what I think is beautiful is really so,
Because it's constructed of this or that, looks this way, and is defined by me
I am not the creator or the judge of it's validity
I am my own piece
I am splattered with every shade of blue
I am carefully, violently and with pressed fingertips outlined in deep charcoal
My yellows shine behind the silhouette pushing my frame forward to the tip of this ledge, like stars hiding behind the night sky, begging to be released from the captivity of daylight
I am my own piece
So is he
So is she
So are they
How can you say we are not
How can each piece say to the other, you are not art, you are not beautiful, you are not created to be looked at, touched,
you cannot draw others in.
We are these paintings.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pam is a retired RN.
Pam drives the only Subaru in Austin.
Pam likes big green pens with yellow flowers on the end.
Pam knows how to get the crease to stay down the middle of your jeans, by sprinkling vinegar on them before ironing.
Pam is an angel.
Made it to Austin. Promptly panicked about living in a small town and having nothing to do / being lonely. Went to a Bible study at Faith Evangelical Free Church. Which consisted of three women in their late 40's... and me :). One of those women, was Pam.
It'd been a tough week, filled with approximately 463 moments where I was about to pack my bike and ride the 120ish miles to the Minneapolis airport. Shockingly though, I didn't make it. I met Pam instead. It's not that Pam is so great. It's just that Pam was the perfect moment, in the midst of all the other hard ones. I said my goodbyes at the bible study and as I was leaving, she reaches our her arms and says, "I love hugs!". And gives me a big hug, whispers in my ear, "I'm praying for you."
This week, Pam filled my life with lots more of those moments! Which included filling my cupboards with groceries, getting me a bed and dresser and taking me to the farmer's market filling my hands with cash and told me to get whatever fresh fruits and veggies I desired! And then instead of probing me with all these deep questions about where I was at in life, etc. she bought me dinner and said, "I feel like the Lord wants you to know you have the freedom to choose." Which means a lot, and... too much to explain in a blog. But it was Jesus lifting my head.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Asking for prayer here:
1. First and foremost that my heart would let go of condemnation and anxiety, and cling to Him
2. That whatever work He has for me here, I put my whole self in and risk
3. For community :)
And.... Here's some poetry from the last few months:
when we no longer tarry in the place of secure, we ask ourselves if we'll love again.
we meet silence.
maybe not in this endurance.
but on the timeline, somewhere close to the middle, on the right side, the side that's closer to the finish and farther from the start.
your eyes strain hope again, they beckon you to arise.
and you ask, but will I love again.
because you want to know, that when you stand and look ahead, there will be life, in abundance, greater than the most wonderful painting, fuller than the most eloquent poem.
and, will it swell even grander.
will the color fill with more brilliance, will the laughter be more perfectly timed, and the sounds more resplendent, the sights greater still.
and you wait for the reply, and the sound in your ears, is like this dull melody.
and you're not quite sure if it's happy or sad, or if there's even lyrics, but the reverberation draws you in.
and you keep listening, straining to hear the faint pounding of the keys, the strokes of the guitar-so significant,
as if they were chosen just to echo your heart's beat,
as if they alone will forgive you the answer you seek.
and the more you listen, the louder it gets.
the quicker your heartbeats soften to the rhythm.
and the keys grow louder, until all that resounds in your ears is this beautifully sorrow-filled redemptive memory of what was.
and you realize that you're still straining to listen for the end, because the strumming continues, this time, unrecognizable- yet familiar.
growing stronger and filling the entire room with this glorious warmth.
and you realize, you'll love again.
you're sure of it, as sure as you are of the melody.
but this song,
this song, will never change.
it's in you, written.
and it's beautiful. finished.
And even if you tried to clasp your hands with a deafening tightness, longing to drown out the twinge of grieving that comes at the bridge,
Ah, your heart,
it knows each vibration and will never stop until the end, until the glorious warmth of the end, the redemption.
because as much as your heart knows the sorrow still, the joy begins to sweetly fade over-in-and through, until the two sit hand and hand, with welcome.
Monday, May 16, 2011
(from a super intense time back in January, more happy narratives to come)
His stitches will heal you
Why would I?
As if my fingers were gasping for air, I claw at the stitches You've sown in my heart.
When I'm broken and bleeding and falling apart-
You stitch and You stitch and You reach for my heart.
But I know my healing comes from You.
Why do I?
Rip. And I rip. and I rip out Your stitches.
I'll fix it myself, You can't fix this, I won't let it.
I won't let it heal.
I crave the pain.
It's sick. And it's twisted.
I wish I desired Your medic.
Your twine-much stronger.
Your needle-how sharp.
But I reach for the cheap, the replaceable yarn.
The rusty old hook used for crocheting.
I'll fix it myself.
Your stitches mean nothing.
And they break, even as I tie them tighter.
Each hole I compress, the blood pours out faster.
I can't fix this.
I've made a mess of my heart.
The lining breaks.
The stitches bow and I cry out from infection.
It festers and turns colors I've never imagined.
Your stitches.... I wish I would have listened.
Let You stitch.
Put my arms to my side,
close my eyes,
feel your breath as You work,
Your hand that steadies me.
............calm seems elusive, and yet on the tip of my tongue.
You reach for your twine, much stronger than mine.
Threading Your needle.
And I close my eyes.
Terror seeps in, tears stroll down, hot against my cheek-
and reminds me I'm alive.
You wait. Patiently.
Hand on my elbow.
my shoulders shake.
and I fall to my knees.
My head rests on your lap and I fight the urge to run.
Your hand. Firm on my back.
Protect me! Why didn't you protect me?!
Hate rises. Instant regret. I'm so angry. I'm so hurt.
You weep over me.
Tears fall on my hands. my arms. oddly comforting I look up.
My face, cradled in Your hands-rough and warm.
I have loved you. you are precious to me. I delight in you. let Me heal you. Let me stitch your heart together. I can fix this.
I can fix this. I can make you whole.
I look away. He stays.
He always stays.
My head lays down.
I'm not ready.
He waits. He stays. He always stays.
I give way to the pain.
Terrified. I expose my heart.
He begins,and it feels as if my whole world crashes in.
He always stays.