October 26, 2009

A Burst of Blue.

Two weeks from today I will be waving farewell to my hometown as I begin my three month journey around/across the US! It may be the craziest thing I've ever done, but I have a feeling it also just might be the healthiest.

I am drawn to the extreme. I am compelled by the rediculous. I get jittery when I think about possibilities, potentials. Hearing about someone else's experience makes me ache.. I want to experience it myself. I know enough now to know that unless I do, I really cannot claim to know anything at all about whatever it might be. Reading books is good, but they only make me want to experience what I've just read on my own. Seeing photographs is good, but they make my eyes and my insides itch to be in it myself. I've been called curious, which is probably true. But my drive really doesn't come from curiosity or a need to be in the know. What I need is to understand. This need for experience undoubtedly stems from the desire to live an authentic life. Forming opinions, desires, dreams even from someone else's experiences lacks a degree of authenticity I don't want to live without. How can I speak of someone as a statistic, of a country as a shape on a map, of a people group as a stereotype or a study?

This is the very reason I am so compelled to get to know my God ever-increasingly more. I'm not satisfied hearing other people's stories of His goodness, His faithfulness, His kindness, His love. Sure they inspire, but I need to experience these attributes for myself. If I don't, I really have no idea who He is.

All of this to say I'm taking this trip for many reasons, but the greatest of the many is that I might encounter: myself, my country, my fellow Americans, and my God. To zip from coast to coast in two weeks would entirely defeat the purpose of this trip. I must go slow. I must take the time to absorb and reflect upon every conversation, observation and experience until each one has settled deep inside of me. I must take pieces of America with me as I go, and I must find a way to leave pieces of myself in the form of blessings along the way. I need to be more in-tune with myself, with the air, with the sounds, with the Spirit, with my God. Separated from any "group", any responsibility, any obligation, any specific place, what will my heart feel? What will I long for? Where will the winds of the Spirit blow me? And how will I respond? I need to find this out.. because when I'm home I long for home, when I'm in Africa I long for Africa, when I'm at Brockport, I long for Brockport. (etc. etc.)
But I have a feeling God has something to say to me that boundaries have rendered me unable to hear.


I think part of what's making me so ready right now is the realization that I might not be ready. There is no limit to what these months could bring. Nothing would surprise me. But I'm ready to be caught off-guard, to be wow-ed, to be disappointed, to "not be ready". I've realized sometimes it's impossible to be ready, and sometimes it's okay not to be ready.

Ready or not,
two weeks from today I'm off!

October 21, 2009

Sweet Wind*

The last three days have led me to a place more real than the most real places I had known before. Nothing "happened", but oh.. something is happening.. something that's been a long time in coming, something I've been smelling and sensing and longing for but refusing to let in, something I've known existed but haven't been able to relax enough to allow my inner-being to access and explore.

My insides feel soft, but it's different than the soft of the past. I feel soft as in surrendered, soft as in helpless, which has led to honesty, soft as in broken to the point of wholeness. I have been awakened to a deeper revelation of truth.

And all I want is to sit here with my Maker and absorb it.. more and more and more.. because I know there's so much more.

I'm reaching for wholeheartedness. I think that's what I've been doing all along, only I've grown confused by the many pulls on my heart that have taken me in a dozen different directions, asking me for my entire life. There are so many things I would give my life for. So many people and so many places that deserve every ounce my being, and more. But my God.. all He really wants is my whole heart. And He wants it for Himself. If I could accomplish one thing in this life it would be this: to follow hard after the very heartbeat of Jesus Christ Himself.. with abandonment.. with my whole heart; to feel His heart beat every day.

Me, with my ear pressed to His chest.
Me, with my small arms wrapped about His neck.

I have a new respect for His presence and His Spirit; a new sense of Holiness and what it means to walk into a place where He rests. His Beauty, His Goodness, His Righteousness, His Grace, His love - it's Holy, as I am not. But He makes me Beautiful, He makes me Good, He makes me Righteous, He calls me Beloved..
This Holiness that so far outweighs my filth takes all words from my tongue. I have nothing left to say, only to ask Him to feel this heart.. feel this heart as it feels the weight of Your Glory, for I am so small here with You and yet I feel a queen in the most desirable, majestic Kingdom.

My King, My King..

And the world rushes on, but finally, finally I can stand and say No World, No Pressure, you can't have me. Because I'm going somewhere amazing with the Creator of the Universe. He's captaining a ship that's about to brave some crazy waters, and I'm on board. I'm looking out at the sea, taking in the danger, the excitement, the beauty, the vastness, the mystery, the possibility, and all I feel is peace and assurance. He has me, hah!

He Has Me.

October 15, 2009

What I Find Satisfying

Teaching 12 year-olds how to work hard [and consequently watching them slowly but surely catch The Running Bug].
Untying a 17lb. bag of oats to begin work on a monster batch of granola [and sampling said granola at each of the four stages of its creation].
Sitting cross-legged on the couch with a hot cup of tea writing a letter to a friend I have not seen in months [and expressing myself so honestly that I sign the letter having felt as though they were right there with me the entire time].
Running 12 miles on a crisp autumn day [and feeling as though I could have run more].
Walking into a dark church, fumbling around to the sound booth, turning on the system, removing my shoes, and playing the piano [under the dimmest of lights, with only the dainty hum of electronics].
Hiking through trees [under, over, around], trees, and more trees, chasing the sound of rushing water [when I arrive, I will sit very still and refuse to move until I have lost all sense of time].
When you're hurting, I want to help you.
When days are dull, I want to dance until we've touched new life.

And one day after day after day I will feel every muscle relax as I slide beneath layers of patchwork quilts after a physically, emotionally, spiritually exhausting day [and know that this, THIS! is life].

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