July 31, 2007

I am HOME

After spening a week away from my family, I realized why I am such a homebody. It isn't because I am agorophobic, or because I missed the computer, but sitting here, in the middle of Aiden's mess of toys, listening to Kikka mouth off to everyone that's not paying attention to her, and listening to my mom and Amy's non-stop chattering (they like talking...), I remember that home isn't locational for me. It isn't this 12 year old track home in O'Fallon, Misouri. It isn't even this Suburb of the greatest city in the Midwest. It's my family.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I adore all of them. There's a lot of them, and they're noisy and obnoxious, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

So... school is just around the corner. It's been sort of a big summer for me-- publishing my novel, really getting involved with True Vine and Gamaliel's Counsel, and a lot of travelling that isn't even over yet. At the end of August, I'll be visiting Grandville, Michigan to meet my best friend of 8 years. Yes, to meet her. We have been pen-pals since we were 12 years old. We've been through engagements (all on her end), break-ups (of course, all on my end), brain surgeries, addictions, and serious struggles with God together. She was the first person to ever ask to be my best friend, and the first person to ever tell me that if there was ever anything that I couldn't ask God for, that she would be the one to talk to Him in my stead. We've mourned with each other and we've rejoiced with each other... and now, for the first time ever, I will be able to give her a REAL hug. I am excited beyond belief.

July 16, 2007

Job Moments

For the past few weeks, I've really been trying to work on a lot of issues with God. On Saturday, at church, my dad talked about two things that really struck me: asking God to reveal to you what lies Satan uses to distract you and influence you in your life, and consecrating yourself for Holy use. For starters, I thought for sure that I was past the whole being lied to by Satan thing... I was convinced that when I stopped cutting, I stopped being duped by the devil. But in the past three weeks or so, I've been running into some things that have been revealed to me as major roadblocks in how I can be used by God. Last week, the topic of discussion between my Abba and me was boys. This week, our conversations have to do with my lack of friends.

See, I have close friends... but Teia lives in Bolivar. Abbi is in Michigan, and right now, Ian is somewhere in Europe... or Iceland... or something. I have yet to be able to really connect with anyone around myself that I can really, really be close to. (This is not to downplay the importance of the irreplaceable trio in my life... it's just different when you can see them regularly.)

Last night, I found myself sleepless (go figure), and pleading for God to show me what is keeping me from really connecting with people. I kept coming up with my own answers for the question (I like to do that when asking God things), like, "Am I too blunt?", "Do I need to change who I am?", or even the infamous "it's because I'm fat, isn't it?" And though God answered "no" to all of my questions, my chain of thought proceeded to the inevitable "Well, even if You gave me a close friend, you'd just take them away like You always have in the past" routine that I've been through time and time again with God.

It struck me, right about the time I finished the "I'm too fat" question that I sounded just like Moses when he was making all sorts of excuses for himself when God asked him to do something. I remembered God asking him, "Who made man's mouth?", and I laughed at myself.

Our excuses are worthless to Him, because He knows our capabilities. It isn't about how fat I am, or how blunt, or even how many friends I have-- it's about whether or not I realize that He is totally in control.

This is where the consecration comes in. I think that Moses and Job are two perfect examples of consecrated men in the Bible, but it wasn't until they realized that God created them for a distinct purpose, and that they were pointless without Him that they were truly at peace. They recognized God for who He is, and recognized their place in light of Him. Moses fell before the Burning Bush before he freed a nation from slavery, and Job put his hand over his mouth in embarrassment before God restored his riches and position.

The refinement was incredibly blunt, but some of us need that every now and then.

July 14, 2007

Scars that Save

Over and over Your blood covers me.
How many times will it take me to see?
I am so dangerous.
I am so irresponsible.

Here I am, broken again, but then You show me,
You're wearing the scars that save.
How can You see me, as something so lovely?
Cause it's killing me that You took the blame.

Over and over it falls back to me.
My knees hit the floor and it's easy to see.
I am so arrogant.
I feel so unforgivable.

This is my same old song.
The one where I do it all wrong.
And I will try (fight) with all that
I am to get it right in the end.

Here I am, broken again, but then You show me,
You're wearing the scars that save.
How can You see me, as something so lovely?
Cause it's killing me that I am to blame.

Kids in the Way

July 11, 2007

Two Poems On Tea Parties and Ghosts

The First Tea Party: Written in a Fit of Bitternes
Toward a Boy Undeserving of My Emotions
(April 6, 2007)

No, I won't stop apologizing for things that aren't really my fault
Because maybe it amuses me when you're just a little upset at my insecurities.
Maybe I want you to feel bad, because you never cared to before
And maybe I don't see that you ever even cared before at all.
Maybe the blood rushing from my face and my fingers turning to ice
Is just a reaction to your inability to take anything seriously.

Maybe ghosts are just too hard for me to have tea with
I can't sit across the table and smile when it's fake.
One lump or two, it never really mattered to me at all.
Although the scones were always my favorite,
I can't go on with things when I don't care, even though I know you can.
What makes it worse is, I know that I don't deserve you.
This has nothing to do with sour grapes.
I don't deserve you.

But I don't deserve another cup of tea, either.
And you're just going on with it because you like the taste.

The Final Tea Party: My Declaration of Independence
From Boys Undeserving of my Emotions
(July 11, 2007)

Some will leave you, but they will never leave you whole
They'll listen, but never really be able to hear
(Meaning they hear, but they'll never really care)
They'll call you worthless and push you away

Your ghosts will invite you to tea
Sporting somethings similar to character
Just as strong as their weakly brewed darjeeling
And strength just as pale as their pekoe stained with milk
Calling for two lumps instead of one to sugarcoat the truth.

These spirits will betray you
Lying to your face about what they could or couldn't be
Secretly saying "You're too good, but not good enough for me"
They'll send out the crisp invitations with only your name on the list

But if tea is any indication of character
And tea parties are the shindig of the posthumous,
I think I'll stick with coffee from now on--
The fresh, mellow energy... the strength that keeps you alive.

July 09, 2007

My Top 20

People pin me as two things most often... 1) Anti-Romantic and 2) an average 20 year old kid. In order to prove both of these notions wrong, I'm posting my top 20 songs ever recorded list. Enjoy... and be surprised, maybe.

1) "Worlds Apart" - Jars of Clay
2) Beethoven's 5th Symphony
3) "Martyrs and Thieves" - Jennifer Knapp
4) "Old Rugged Cross"
5) Mozart's Symphony #40
6) "Why Try To Change Me Now?" - Frank Sinatra
7) "Can't Hurry Love" - Phil Collins
8) "My Girl" - The Temptations
9) "Pressure" - Queen
10) "Keep Waiting" - Stavesacre
11) "My Ever, My All" - Steve
12) "I Cry Out" - Parallax View
13) "Iris" - Goo Goo Dolls
14) "Everybody Loves Somebody" - Peggy Lee
15) "For Once In My Life" - The Temptations
16) "Fools Rush In" - Elvis Presley
17) "It Is Well"
18) "In Christ Alone" - Adriane Leishing-Camp and Geoffe Moore
19) "Scream" - ZOEGirl
20) "Ever The Same" - Rob Thomas

July 02, 2007

Booby Prizes and the Holy Spirit

This post will be two-fold, but I think it sort of ties in together.

Lately, I've formed the habit of not sleeping. On this particular morning, this habit provided me with the opportunity to dig into God's word by light of the sunrise. Unfortunately, my Bible was not in my bedroom, and at 5 AM, I really didn't feel like venturing outside and waking up my parents, as well as my puppy, I scanned my prolific bookshelves for a Bible or any book that might contain large chunks of scripture.

I picked up a book that I found at a book fair when I was about 11 years old. It was published in 1965, and is entitled "Going Steady With God." It is a one-year devotional plan for teenage girls, but there is a lot of scripture in it, so I thought I would at least start in July and read four or five pages. I was surprised to find an in-depth look at the workings of the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost, as well as some incredibly outdated lingo and anecdotes. One of these anecdotes really jumped out at me.
"Once when I was your age I was at a Sunday school party where we were asked to name all the parts of a car. I got the booby prize because I named everything but the engine! Many Christians today need to be given the booby prize. They name everything about the Christian life and everything about the Church except the power, the dynamo!"

I still have a smile on my face from this excerpt from the book. Despite the obviously 60's overtones, Anna Mow had one thing right-- most Christians DO deserve the booby prize. In today's ministries, the movement of the Holy Spirit is left out, ignored, or never even taught.

This brings me to the second part of the post. I randomly check some part-time job listings on snagajob.com, just in case I ever feel like being employed by another person again. Today, I really identified with one of their promotional strategies.

In a modern, program driven church, it is REALLY easy to find a place to plug in and serve, much like it is easy to find a minimum wage job. However, the Holy Spirit is rarely involved in this process. We take our multiple choice personality test, run it through the system, and pair ourselves with what we seem to be best suited for. But, all too often, when we try to work outside our gifting and outside of the leading of the Holy Spirit, things get awkward, much like the photos above. I have known many lifeguards working in mail rooms, and jockeys working on cattle ranches, and I have definitely known some mechanics who were placed into jobs at trendy boutiques.
This is all metaphorical, of course, but when who we are doesn't jive with what we are doing for Christ, we aren't reaching our full potential. We aren't accessing the dynamo of the Christian faith, or the powerhouse of the Church-- the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

On Superhero Capes

There once was a girl who wore a superhero cape. It wasn't a fancy cape. A hodgepodge of florals and stripes, bold and tame. Fashi...