Sunday, July 4, 2010

When All Other Options Fail, Please Knock on Someone Else's Door

Dear Reader,

I have many flaws.... the list is long and shameful...
but there is one that really irks me every single time it pokes its nose into public view, and that is the flaw of being far too understanding and forgiving.

I'm sick of this flaw, because it  tends to hurt me rather than make the situation better.

I want to be like Jesus in everything I do.
I want to make sure that He really defines my life.
And this is where I really struggle... where's the line between being too forgiving and showing grace like Jesus did?

A few evenings ago, I believe I punched this flaw in the face, and yelled "TAKE THAT!"
Usually, I let things slide... I don't like causing an uproar, because simply being peaceable about certain situations is much easier than standing up to frustration.
But when the same people push the same buttons that they have been pushing for over a year, it begins to take its toll on my nerves.

I'm tired of trying to be pleasant... of trying to overlook being treated like the last option... and really tired of being schmoozed over after I'm screwed over.

To put it bluntly... if you have other things that you would rather do than hang out with me, please don't hang out with me.
If I invite you to something, please for the love of all that is good in this world pay attention to what I've told you.... like if I'm feeding you.
If you know that you and I are on totally separate covers of a book rather than just it's pages.... please don't be offended if I blow you off.... you know we're not going to get along well anyway.
Lastly, please oh please do not try to win my favor back after you pulled the same stupid actions that you have in the past.  Let's just be straight with each other.

I may have acted rudely... but I've been walked all over before.
Like I said, I'm really tired of being the last option and not an initial choice.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Nights Like These

I pranced down the stairs of my dorm.
I hoped to the ground from the last step in a subconscious cheerfulness.
I pushed open the doors to wander outside… and it was then I fell in love.

I love the nights where the air has almost a pleasant thickness about it… not humidity, but something entirely past wonderful.
I grinned as I walked, because these are the nights that I love the most… the nights that laughter is like a melody, and silence is sweeter than ice cream.

It is nights like these that I know I am alive.
Nothing of significance happens, but the night itself is significant.
It is nights like these that I look up at the stars and my soul twirls within me, praising God in its own way that causes my heart to flutter and my mind to seep in understanding.

It is nights like these that make me realize that I love life.
I love everything about it… the horrible days, the mediocre, and the very greatest.

It is nights like these that make me love my Savior more.

It is nights like these that remind me exactly what love is… and I fall into it ever more. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I ain't a Pop Tart

I’m a fan of standup. I love laughing more than a lot of things… things like Monsters, the beach, and snowboarding.
One of my all time favorite acts is done by Brian Regan, who seems to grow funnier with repetition.
Its an old school shpeel as he pretends to open a poptart and read the instructions for cooking given on the box (First off, who really “cooks” a poptart? And secondly, who needs instructions to do so? Alas, they are actually there, and are RIDICULOUS… the instructions they have to put on things absolutely baffles me).
Within the act, he says something that makes me giggle every time I think of it… but now makes me step back a little and say, “… hmmm.”
The line goes something like this: “And here are the microwave instructions. 1. Remove pastry from pouch. 2. Microwave on high for 3 seconds. If you have to zapfry your poptart,  you might want to loosen up your schedule.”

As the whole world knows, this upcoming week is finals week (why I’m here hanging out with you is beyond me… I really should be studying for the test that provoked this rampant writing.)
My very first test is in New Testament… a class that has brought me to a mirror to look at the dirty, ugly image that is my soul, and then showed me a God that is behind me with a washcloth, ready to clean me up and make me lovely.
As I dug through notes tonight, writing everything down on 3x5 cards, I came across a point Dr. Williams made that makes total sense to me and causes me to have faith in progressive transformation.

God has principals for growth.
Growth, within the Bible, is compared to farming.
You work the ground.
You plant a seed.
You water it gently.
You pluck the weeds around it.
You care for the little teeny tiny bit of green that shoots up from the ground weeks after you planted that seed.
You water.
You pluck.
You watch.
You water.
You pluck.
Until finally, it grows big enough to produce fruit.
Then you prune your pretty little plant, so that next time, it’ll bear more fruit….
Better fruit.

I think a lot of times, we believe that when we ask for forgiveness, God is going to give us a dose of steroids to bulk us up to be the way we need to be.
But He doesn’t do that… because that’s cheating.
Its robotic… and it goes against the beauty of free will.

Growth isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight… and the Divine doesn’t expect that.
I believe He expects you to move in the direction of bearing fruit… to make the effort in wanting to change.
A seed doesn’t grow itself… it would die if it didn’t have the proper care.
Growth doesn’t happen in zapfry instant…. And thank goodness for that, because I would be seriously concerned with myself.

Within the past year, I’ve had the privilege of seeing God in a new way.
66 books, cover to cover, of things that He’s said and given to us, as a way to show us that He wants to be involved in our lives.

That being said, I’ve gotten to see a God that looks at me with all of my blemishes and disgusting dirt stains, and instead of brushing me off as the hopeless case that I am, He grabs me and pulls me close to Him with no intent of letting go.
I’ve always known that He does this… but through awful mistakes, horrid heartache and brokenness, it sometimes is a vague memory that flits through my mind and seems unbelievable.

Some of those who read this will scoff at my “horrible mistakes” remark.
That kills me.
I’ll never understand why there is a pride issue over whose sin is worse.
Yeah, I’m the “good girl”… but what’s up with the label that is only there to make those who use it look more ba and me want to prove that it isn’t true?
You believe a lie from the depths of hell and cause me to stumble.
Why do you want to be considered worse than me, the “good girl?”

Alright, back to the main point, and onto the wrap up.

We grow slowly.
A kid (with the exception of my siblings) doesn’t go from being 3’2 to 5’10 overnight.
Growth isn’t a toaster pastry… and I’m not a pop tart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

So Mad He Could Spit

Dear reader,

Tonight, I've had the blinders removed for a split second.
I don't claim to know more than anyone else... I am only 19, and know better than to submit that I know everything.
But I do know a few things... and those few grains of knowledge are enough to make me infuriated with my peers... particularly a good majority of those that I know well.

Hypocrisy sincerely bothers me.
And I see it entirely too much in those that are in my age bracket.

You tell me you're a Christian?
I'm to the point where I want to look a good few of some of those who I have grown up with in the eye and say "Prove it to me via action rather than just saying that you are."

I see no lasting passion... I see a temporary spiritual high that is fueled by a moving worship service and a great message.

The biggest question I have that I want to scream more often than not is what is the point?

I just cannot believe its to succeed in the world.
The world is supposed to hate me... not to praise me for my advances within it's self.

What are you doing to prove that you are worth being hated?

When I focus on me... the insignificant problems become overwhelming.
The tears over mistakes come far too often...
I feel trapped and chained.

When I lift my eyes up to meet God, my Father, the hurts and the pains and the chains dissolve and are so worth every ounce of discomfort they possess.
I don't live for anything other than what God wants of me.
My main goal is what can I do for Him? What can I do to show the world that He's worth everything I've got to give and more?

I'm really sick and tired of seeing my generation so focussed on themselves.
I'm tired of seeing my own friends professing great abundance in faith... yet not seeing the fruit of that faith.
Where's the joy? Where's the love? Where's the self-control?

I KNOW I don't have it dialed in...
but when you can look yourself in the eye... when you can talk to a friend and be real, like really really real... when you can pray without the twinge of guilt looming in the corner...
that is when you can begin to know that you've got the ability to confront those who aren't doing it right.
When God whispers His Word into your soul right at the right time... its then you know that you've got the ability to smack people upside the head with it.

"So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."- Rev. 3:16

All I've got to say is come on friends... get it together.
Grow up into the men and women you are called to be... and actually do something to BECOME that person.
I'm tired of hearing "I'm on fire for God" and not seeing the smoke or feeling the heat.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Need to sleep hard?

Most recent, yet oldest observation found within my mind: When you work hard, you sleep hard.

Its a "duh" no brainer kind of conclusion... but boy oh boy does it take on a whole entire new meaning when you experience it every time you shut your eyes to the final hours of the day and awake completely refreshed.
I love sleep.
I'm so glad God created it.

8 hours of shear incoherent bliss... my hat comes off to that idea.

Goodnight sweet world, my dreams will be pleasant and lovely.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A peaceful gleam

The night paused to listen to the nothing that floats through its warm fall night air.
It yawns and stretches and then goes back to listening, waiting to hear if any excitement bursts forth on this Thanksgiving eve.

I yawn even bigger as I unwind from a busy week that has yet to slow down.
As I snuggle down into the warmth of my layers of blankets, two thoughts sit on the crest of my mind: one of utter amazement, and another of simple rest.

I am finding that tonight is a night that I can truthfully sing "Savior I come, quiet my soul, remember..." and nestle down for 15 hours of utter calm.
Rest is important for us as people... and I whole heartedly believe that to be so because of the fact that our God took a day to breathe.
More often than not, we take maybe an hour to just sit and rest, and then we're right back to work... whether that be actual work, school assignments, or sometimes even being with others.
Tonight, I am able to embrace the still and the quiet for all that it offers me... and I plan to.
I think that it will help provoke growth in the area of peace that every Christian life should cultivate... a peace that passes all understanding.

I live in complete awe with God's evident mighty hand working in my life.
I remember vividly (and also have written record of doing so) the very first time I really prayed that God would guide me in the direction HE wanted me to go in.
That brought me to Biola.
I remember last year being completely miserable with my studies, and lifting my major up to Him, praying that He would lead me to the area in which He needed me...
He then led me into Journalism.
This year, I have prayed a similar prayer... allowing Him to narrow down His will even further... and have been led to switching my emphasis, as I have explained in previous posts.
He has continuously been confirming that this is, indeed, His will for my life... which has been indescribably outstanding.

His lead is so beautiful... it almost visibly sparkles.
I often times look myself in the eye and wonder, "What is it that He wants? What is it I could do for Him?"
He never fails to answer my self questioning.

Holding His hand and walking toward His next stop is dreadfully wondrous...
I know its His plan... and I know He'll get me there if it really is what He wants...
its all a matter of trust now.
Trust in the silence... trust in the calm... trust in the chaos and also in the surging storm...

Its lovely, ever so lovely letting Him lead for once... a new experience that I plan to transition to every area of my life...
I want every pathway to sparkle and every choice to be overflowing with peace.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Choking on CO2 and frog lips

Ciao amici,
I sat at the red light staring blankly probably only three feet in front of me.
Safe, I know... brilliantly safe.
The radio was silent as my poor, beater car coughed and sputtered, trying to stay alive through the remainder of the light's cycle.
The red light could have stayed red for an eternity... and I quite possibly wouldn't have taken notice.
My thoughts engulfed my entire being... and I barely noticed my old man car grumbling at the fact he would momentarily have to try to pick up momentum again once the light flashed the signal for the races to begin.
But the light turned green, the races began, and I was off like a shot... leaving my troubled thoughts at the signal line at Rosecrans and Biola Avenue.

The thoughts floated back as I sat in a theatre filled with ridiculous junior high girls and even more ridiculous high school girls, and past pathetic college girls... all swooning at the male cast of a certain new cinema production that has been long awaited by the youthful feminine world.
There are "teams" in this craze.... which is something to laugh at in itself.
But I'm going to be absurdly honest with you and say that I myself relate far too much with one of these "teams"... and as I sat and watched the best friend's heart break on the silver screen, I felt a similar twinge of pain behind my rib cage.

Being THE "best friend" sucks.
I've written about that far too many times for me to get into it once again here... but I've stumbled (in every sense of the word) upon the conclusion that there are no true and intimate best friend guy-girl relationships that don't grow feelings of romance in one or more of the participating party.
I don't care what you tell me, its just not a safe possibility.

I think you can have close friendships... just not those close, one on one, you confide in me and I'll confide in you and all will be fine and dandy in the world friendships with someone of the opposite gender.
It mostly always results in the heartbreaker driving away leaving the heartbroken behind in the cloud of CO2, wondering if they were simply someone different if things would be different.

As I talked with the person I confide in the most, I let the words fall out of my mouth as I shared with her my newest prayer... as I've realized my mid-summer night's dreamlike nightmare was childishly foolish and hopelessly destructive.
I've been told to pray for specifics... though, at times, I feel like praying for specifics is unacceptable.... a conclusion that I am quickly growing to learn is a stupid one.
What if just this once, I showed up in God's throne room boldly and began expressing what it is my heart is crying out for?
What if just this once, I begin to pray every day for a new turn of events that is unlike anything I have ever experienced?
What if just this once, I trust that there is a transformed frog waiting to meet me instead of running around kissing the same ones I have thinking they might change?
What if I pray to be the best friend that is really the best friend and is cherished as the best friend and is loved as his princess?

I've seen far too many happy endings to settle for mediocre.... nor will I ever again let myself think that I am settling for slightly higher than mediocrity. 
The stars are calling out my name.
Their pretty voices sing out for my finger tips as I stand on my tippy toes to try and reach them.

I regret... I've learned... and I'll forget.
It's time to grow up and meet better.