Monday, January 30, 2012

Unconditional.

You accept me. Today, those are the most beautiful three words I could hear. Today, when I'm on the verge of tears, when I realize that I don't measure up; I hear you say, "I accept you, just the way you are." It blows my mind.

Today when I'm filled with frustration and anger, when my heart is boiling over and about to burst, when I can't understand why; you wrap your arms around me. You forgive my childish outburst and whisper, "I love you." Incredible.

Today when I've tried and failed, when I've done all I can and I can't accept myself, you tell me, "You're precious. I accept you."

It reads like a fairytale. You're that perfect lover in that perfect story with that perfect ending. You're everything I ever wanted, and you want to be with me forever.

Unlike that perfect story, ours doesn't have an ending. You tell me that nothing, not death or life, not angels, principalities or powers, nothing in the past or the present or even in the future could ever separate me from your love. Nothing.

Today, my cup runs over. I may not measure up in my eyes, but you, knowing me better than I know myself, still choose me. All I can say is thank you.

And, I love you too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Abba, Father

My world had come crashing down. People I thought would be a part of my life forever had made it clear that they were done, and I was devastated. I put on a brave face and kept on when all I wanted to do was bury my head in the sand. I wanted to scream. I wanted to wake up from the nightmare I was living. I wanted to stop living. I wanted to do anything to release the pain, except talk about it.

2 am and I was sobbing quietly in my bed. I had never felt more alone, even though I was surrounded by my sleeping sisters. I had told nobody and was determined to keep it that way. It's better like this. You'll get over it faster. And you don't need them to mock you.

Before long I realized I wasn't alone. There was a hand rubbing my shoulder. My quiet anguish had brought the attention of my dad and he wasn't going to let me suffer by myself.

I had pursued a relationship that he had advised against and been bitten. Hard. And he, without any judgment, without any reluctance, was willing to give up his nights sleep in order to comfort me, even though he had to work in the morning.

This has always been the story with my dad. With nine daughters, that's a lot of missed sleep, I can assure you.

Maybe that's why the word "Father" to me says "comforter".

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

I've been pondering the vastness of God a lot lately, the expanse of the universe, how many people make up 7 billion, etc.. I am astounded every time to realize that still, He knows me. Still, He loves me..

I'm incredibly blessed to have a earthly example on a much smaller scale, but so much more incredible it is to be able to say, Abba, Father.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deaf to dehydration



We were riding in the van on our way to the mountains, all amped up for a day of snowboarding when it started. Our friend was talking about health and fitness when he showed us that if you pinch the loose skin around your knuckle for 5 seconds and it remains standing up for more than 3 seconds it’s a sign of dehydration.

I thought it was silly at first, because the skin on my knuckle stood up until I pushed it down, but I would know if I was dehydrated!

Figuring that drinking the prescribed amount of water couldn’t hurt, I took the challenge. I started carrying a water bottle with me everywhere I went, and practically drowned myself in water. It took a conscious effort to keep it up. At first constantly drinking water (and it's repercussions) were annoying and inconvenient, but before long if I didn’t have it I began to thirst for it.

I read this yesterday and it totally hit home:
It takes complete and total focus as well as a conscious effort to put God first. It just can't be done half-heartedly and with a lazy attitude. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don't. Big deal? Yeah, big deal. I serve a God that is way too incredible to be put second, and a God that is too good to be given my leftovers.

After reading Psalm 42 this morning,

“As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

I realized that I don’t ever want to go back to the place where my system deceives itself to get by with just a little bit of water.

Not physically or spiritually.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More about me...

Who I am could not ever be without, well, God. Ultimately all I am and have and ever will be is from God. Every fiber of my being carefully handcrafted, every lesson in my twenty-something years specifically thought out and planned, every influence and inspiration designed by my Heavenly Father.

He planned me before the foundations of the earth. Before my parents even imagined me, every part of me had already been arranged. A God so boundless in might, so immense, so indescribably good, and He has a personal interest in me! Incredible. I can't even wrap my head around it, but I look forward to spending the rest of my life discovering more ways that He loves me, and in return, learning to love Him more.

Although the idea behind this post was to thank those who have inspired me and influenced me and changed my life in ways they could not imagine, I realized when I started that all of those people are more of God's grace gifts to me.

So here goes.

#557. The sister who teaches me how to serve with grace with her daily example. (And a yummy meal on the table every night)

#558. The beautiful, talented and thoughtful friend who inspires me to dream big, be realistic and then chase those dreams. (One day we WILL have that volleyball camp.)

#558. Dad, who shows me what it means to stand up when everyone else is sitting down.

#559. The girl who taught me oh so many things, but mainly to laugh at myself. (I would say the "friend" but I'm not sure.. Are we friends?) ;-)

#560. My oldest sister who called me out when I was on a destructive path with the most amazing sensitivity and care. I don't know if I can ever repay you.

#561. The friend who inspires me to be bold and wholeheartedly pursue Jesus. (And taught me how to be a real farm girl)

#562. My sister-in-law. She's been such a blessing, teaching me by her example that with my identity being in Christ, nothing else really matters.

#563. The dear friend started me off counting gifts in the first place.

#564. My grandma, the epitome of a modern lady, with all the graciousness, beauty, kindness and accomplishments of a queen. I hope that someday I'll be like her.

And #565. That girl who pushes me to try harder, who inspires me to be more diligent, who tells me to pick myself back up, and who buys me a lot of coffees. =)

There are so many more, (enough that I could write a book.) that I haven't mentioned above, and believe me, I'm incredibly blessed by you. Thank you for letting God love me through you. I just hope I'm fortunate enough to return the favor someday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions: because everybody's doing it!

I flip-flopped back and forth a bunch of times before making my list of New Year's resolutions- I know, I know... Indecision is not a good way to start a resolution- partly because I wanted to be original, and partly because I don't like making promises I'm likely to break.

Pulling out my list from last year I realized that with the right wording I managed to keep most of the rules I made for myself...

Drink more water
Eat more veggies
Write more
Play music more


Proverbs 28:19 says "Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he”.

At the risk of perishing, I started writing, but if the guy who keeps the law is happy doesn't it follow that the one who breaks it is sad? So I rephrased my list. Instead of writing, "In the year 2012 I will..." I wrote something to the effect of "In the year 2012 I want to..."

I'm not really cut out for rules, it would seem. Just the other day my brother found a Bible that I had lost a couple years ago.. He identified it as mine by a paper that fell out listing a bunch of rules I had made for myself. We had a good laugh over them, and not because they were bad rules at all, but because the reality of me behaving the way I told myself I would behave was preposterous.

Once I break a rule it seems senseless to continue to keep it anymore.

I've already broken every resolution on my list, but it still remains true. They are still things that I want to do, and I'll continue to get back up, dust myself off, and keep trying until I forget about the list altogether. =)