Monday, November 17, 2008

beauty in brokenness.

Tonight, I participated in "An Evening with To Write Love on Her Arms" at Burlap & Bean, my favorite local coffee shop. If you don't know about TWLOHA yet, you should check them out. What an incredible organization. They exist to encourage people out of darkness and into light, out of fear and into hope. To start conversations about self-hate and cutting and depression and suicide and shame and brokenness and to tell people that this isn't all there is - that rescue is possible for them.

I don't have enough time to write about all that's on my mind before I crash tonight, but here is what I was left with/reminded of tonight, to be expanded upon later:

  • We only have one life to live. What do we really want it to look like? It should be about building relationships and loving people... We were meant for community.

  • There is beauty in brokenness. We tell our stories to bring healing to the hurts in other people's lives. If you never share your brokenness you may be preventing others from seeing that they are not alone, and that there is hope for victory.

[To be continued...]

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Then the time came when the risk it took
to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to bloom."

- Anais Nin

I wonder when that will be true for me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We made history tonight, people! Regardless of my personal views about the downfalls of the political system, I will say that I am proud from a civil rights point of view that our country has come this far. Change is possible...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voting My Convictions.

I just finished reading Adam Smith's
In the Booth, Not of the Booth article from the September/October issue of RELEVANT magazine, and absolutely had to blog about it. Smith's article focuses around the opinions of Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, writers of Jesus for President (as well as residents of Philly and Camden, respectively), and Eastern University's Tony Campolo.

These guys present a lot of good food for thought on how to your Christian convictions should translate to the polls. It is impossible for me to slap my stamp of approval on either candidate in this presidential election - or probably any election that will ever be held. I can never completely identify with one political party label or another. Overall, I think the majority of politicians are slick smooth-talkers who end up making a lot of empty promises. There is too much money and deal-making involved in our politics for me to be able to trust the system.

There were a lot of great points made in the article, but this point made by Haw probably stuck out to me the most:
"Global markets, rather than elected offices, truly hold the balance of political power. 'I think Christians need to be making some economic connections, too, about what the whole sphere of political change means today," he says. 'In the mid-20th century, something started changing within the U.S. economy and the military and the whole sphere of global economics that started totally moving in this direction of global capital being more powerful than any government. That has not been noticed by most folks. We think we're controlling the government by our vote. It turns our that the marketplace is really tantamount to all things going on in the government."
This is a huge issue for Christians if you take what Jesus said - "You can not serve both God and Mammon (money)" seriously. So I am struggling through how I respond to all of this. I believe the most effective change will come from people's passionate grassroots movements. But I also believe you can work with the system to get things done and policies in place.

I can't vote anti-life, which for me, means the innocent bloodshed of the unborn - as well as Iraqi children. I can't vote hoping that the "trickle-down" effect will solve the problem of poverty. I can't vote for environmental policies that refuse to fight for a better world for our children. I can't vote for a health care plan that leaves people wondering how they are going to be able to support their families.

If I vote - which I probably will, because I recognize that it is a right that I am blessed to have as an American, to have a voice in my political system when so many people around the world do not - it really does come down to voting for the lesser of two evils. I agree with Claiborne that "one way of looking at voting is that it's damage control - voting against whatever is going to do the worst damage." No one person can embody the "hope" that America really needs. We will not find our savior in a presidential candidate.

I believe the hope America is looking for was embodied in a man who died on a cross 2,000 years ago - the God who came down to Earth to walk beside and give hope to those who had none. The greatest hope America has is for those who claim to follow the way of Jesus to usher in the Kingdom of God here on earth by loving our neighbors as ourselves. My ultimate allegiance does not lie with my identity as an American, but as a member of the kingdom that was, and is, and is to come.

"My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It's to a King & a kingdom"
-Derek Webb

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Where I Stood."

Every time I've heard this song come up on my Pandora, I've recognized my heart in Missy Higgins' words. Add another to the soundtrack to my life...

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none
There were sounds in my head
A little voice is whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found my self listening

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more then I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you aren't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more then I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won't be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me then any one I've ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself
And so I say to you, this is what I have to do

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more then I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
She who dares to stand where I stood

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love is like...

"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable."

- Bruce Lee

Yes, the Bruce Lee. No, I am not kidding.

How great is this quote? I came across it while researching quotes on "preparation" today for work.

I love bumping into truth when I least expect it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saddleback Civil Forum

For those of you who heard about the Saddleback Civil Forum but missed it, RELEVANT Magazine has worked it out with Rick Warren to host the entire thing on the new "politics" section of I haven't watched it yet, but am really looking forward to doing so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

random collage fun.

i love the new beta version of picasa.
and my amazing sister and her photo skillz.

that is all :)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Conversation with God.

Prompted by Eden & Brad Jersak's book "Rivers from Eden."

Me: What is one aspect of your character that you want to reveal to me today?
God: I am your Creator.
Me: What does that word mean to you?
God: It means that I think you are beautiful.
Me: Ok, great. I knew that. I don't mean that to be disrespectful. It just wasn't really what I was looking for. Is there anything else?
God: It means I know your heart.
Me: I knew that too. Although I know I needed that reminder. Sigh.
God: It means I know his too.
Me: (Smiles at this reminder) That's still not really an answer. But I'll take it.
Me: So, what if this word - Creator - is true? What will it mean for my life today?
God: I love you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Class tonight was absolutely amazing. We had our pastor (who happens to be my dad) and an elder come and minister to us regarding the wounds our earthly fathers have inflicted, and how God wants to heal those places where they failed. I don't have time to get into the details of it on this blog tonight, so if you'd like to know about it, you should probably call me sometime soon. But I wanted to share this profound thought/quote:

"When we do not feel at home, secure and at rest in the Father's love, it becomes very easy to live our lives as if we do not have a home."


I don't know if that hits anyone else the way that hit me (right in the heart) but I can see so much evidence of how I have lived that way. I've written about the concept of "home" before - but this concept always seems to come back up - each time, a little differently.

Jesus loves me. And He points me to Abba, Father - the only 100% perfect Daddy I will ever know.

"For you have not received a spirit of slavery ;eading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba, Father!'" - Romans 8:15

I am so blessed and so loved.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

20,000 Leagues.

So I just discovered this song via my "Postal Service" radio station on, and the simple electronica + lyrics = amazing.

True Affection
by The Blow

I was out of your league
And you were 20,000 underneath the sea
Waiving affections
You were out of my league
At a distance that I didn't wanna see
Down to the bottom

I wanted a junction and often there was one
You'd surface face first and we'd share our thought bubbles
And I still believe in the phrases that we breathed
But I know the distance isn't fair to cross

I was out of your league
And you were 20,000 underneath the sea
Waiving affections
You were out of my league
At a distance that I didn't wanna see
Wanted you nearer

Your depths made a pressure that punctured my works
And all your fluids couldn't tolerate the force of my thirst
I love the place where we shared our tiny grace
But because it's real doesn't mean it's gonna work

I was out of your league
And you were 20,000 underneath the sea
Waiving affections
You were out of my league
At a distance that I didn't wanna see
Wanted you nearer

And true affection floats
True affections sinks like a stone
I never felt so close
I never felt so all alone

I was out of your league
And you were 20,000 underneath the sea
Waiving affections
You were out of my league
At a distance that I didn't wanna see
Wanted you nearer

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Great Physician.

God is doing some seriously awesome things in the realm of inner-healing... check out one woman's testimony. Be sure to watch the live ministry session, AND her testimony a year later.

Similar ministry is happening all around the world. People are allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to them, and are being healed - spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

God is doing awesome things at my home church in prayer ministry, and you can find a "Healing Room" near you at this site.

Friday, May 9, 2008

God Calling.

I have so many things I want to write about, but I never seem to make enough time. I need to do that - I'm so annoyed with myself for only writing once each month since I started this new blog.

I just started taking this "Inner Healing Class" on Tuesday nights through my home church. Last night was the second class I've been to, and next week ends the first unit, but already, I am blown away by what I am learning.

In the first week, we covered the questions of "Does God speak to us? Does He want us to hear Him?" and "How do we hear Him?" These may seem like such simple questions, but I think a lot of us struggle with them. I know that I have asked, "Why would God choose to speak to me?" I sometimes wrestle with the idea that the creator of the universe would actually want to take the time to speak into my life, but this is the kind of relationship the Father deeply desires. He wants us to run to Him, and then He wants us to listen.

There are so many examples of how God has spoken to people through history, and the Bible is chock full of them. Samuel hears God's voice audibly but doesn't realize who it is speaking until Eli discerns that it is God and tells him (1 Samuel 3). Moses sees God through the physical manifestation of a burning bush, and then hears a voice (Exodus 3).

If Yahweh, the Hebrew God of the Old Testament is true to His character, from the beginning until the end of time, that means He still wants to speak to us today.

I believe I have heard God speak before – through His word, and through other people, but I have always had trouble with hearing God in prayer. I think my biggest issue has been that I feel like I had never been told or hadn't understood - until now - that God expects us to have a conversation with him like we would with a friend. My tendency has been to hand over my list of questions and requests to God, say “Thank you!” and walk away. Instead, when I ask him a question, I need to ask it with the expectancy that he will answer – and may choose to do so right then.

For years I have been waiting for God’s direction, some inkling as to what his will is, and yet I really haven’t sat down and asked him directly and waited for an answer.

An exercise we did last night in class really helped me in beginning to do this. We were told to picture a place to meet with God. This could be a physical place where we have met with God in prayer before, or it could be somewhere that seems peaceful, like the mountains or the beach. Then we were to ask Him to meet us there, and ask Him what he wanted to say to us.

It can be that simple.

Of course, there can often be things in the way, blocking us from meeting God – the sin in our lives. Unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred – these are things we have to work through with God before we can hear and accept what God wants to say to us.

One of the books that has been part of the leader’s preparation in this class is Jim W. Goll’s “Wasted on Jesus,” which is about cultivating a contemplative prayer life. I borrowed it last night, and am working my way through the fourth chapter. I don’t think it is necessarily the most compelling or well-written book I have ever picked up, but already I am being learning what a “contemplative prayer life” is, why it is essential in order to know God, and is challenging me to delve further into the subject.

One of the things I really appreciate about it so far is that Goll makes it clear that our focus needs to be God himself, on better knowing who the great I AM is - not the things He can do for us. There needs to be balance between seeking God's voice and carrying over out the truth we hear during those intimate conversations and living it out in our lives - in other spiritual disciplines, in conversations with people, and service.

I am realizing that I feel like Jesus could easily be speaking to me to in John 5:39-40: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” I don’t want my life to be based on morals from a holy text, but about intimately knowing the holy God that these scriptures point us to.

The truly rich spiritual life is a life of balance, and I, with God’s help, am wholeheartedly going to be working on balancing my imbalanced prayer life. I am so excited to know my God in a new way and finally quiet myself enough to give Him the chance to speak the things He has always been waiting to say.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

on your way.

i love music as much as i love books, and often for the same reasons - other people have managed to take the things running through my head and have captured them in a creative form that stops me in my tracks. this song is one of those.

"on your way"
by Eastmountainsouth

i hope he never hurts you
like i know i hurt you
i was undecided
and it was all i could do
and if he says he loves you
like i know i loved you
then there's a way to trust him
and i'll get over you

so let his heart surround you
let his arms protect you
and hold you every morning
the way that i could never do
another life has blessed you
he wants the same as you do
so i must find the courage
to send you on your way

send you on your way
send you on your way
(send you on your way)

our nights reflecting
on a chance connecting
help me find the meaning
of the life i had with you
wish i heard when you said
that your heart could not wait
but it was my decision
to send you on your way

send you on your way
send you on your way
it was my decision
to send you on your way

i hope he loves you
like i loved you
i hope he knows you
like i do
'cause if he loves you
like i loved you
i can send you on your way

to send you on your way
to send you on your way
to send you on your way

so i must find the courage
to send you on your way

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

a deeper magic.

Since I joyful finished the world of undergrad academia in December, I have finally found the time to start devouring books for my own personal pleasure again. From December until now, I have read:
1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Hush by Nicole Braddock Bromley
Inside a Cutter's Mind by Jerusha Clark
To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller

All of the above have been worthwhile reads, and I am now starting "Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?" by Gary Thomas. I LOVE books,
ok? I always have - since the very beginning of my reading career - which I'm assuming began at about age 4, if we're talking when I started reading by myself.

Every time I read a great book, it ends up making me think, "I hope I can write something that worthwhile someday." Writing at least one book and having it published before I die is definitely a goal of mine... but I currently don't feel like I have anything that compelling to write about. So I'll wait for divine inspiration on that one, I guess.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is that I wanted to share some of the thoughts that have really caught my attention in these books. I love when writers capture and explain something no one else has before - or at least no one I've read previously has ever explained it as well.

This was the concept that blew me away from
Inside A Cutter's Mind:

"Though it may be very difficult to grasp right now, self-injurers sometimes would themselves because they innately, subconsciously know that in this world... 'The law says that almost everything must be made clean by blood, and sins cannot be forgiven without blood to show death'" (Hebrews 9:22, NCV).

"She had been spilling her own blood in a desperate attempt to make things right, to show that she was sorry, to prove that she deserved to hurt, to end the raging pain inside her. But no wound ever bled enough or went deep enough to last. No cut she made would ever satisfy the ache within. There would always be another reason to destroy, to punish, to heal herself through cutting.

How clear it was: Jesus lived to bleed - once and for all - for every reason she "needed" or "wanted" to cut. She was right all along: Blood did atone. But her blood was insufficient, so He bled in her place. He had suffered all of her shame and offered her the freedom to lay down her self-injury forever."

I have been aware of friends who self-injure since high school, but I had never thought about this being one of the reasons they may have been driven to do so - the idea that some people innately know the shedding of blood is necessary for redemption is amazing to me. The way I look at it, God's truth is already embedded in their brain - but they've only got half the picture. What a beautiful realization it is that God understood this need so deeply that he sent his perfect son to die for all the things we can never heal ourselves! That is true love.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

if you knew then what you know now.

so i think i may have converted.

i have abandoned my old blog for something simpler, and a little more... "2008."

i was asked today by the youth minister at my home church what i wish i had been told when i was in middle/high school about sexuality/relationships/sex, etc. in preparation for an upcoming series on the subject(s).

i think it's hard for me to even know where to start. i made so many mistakes - mistakes which started in middle school. i know a lot of well-meaning adults said a lot of things to try and deter me from making bad decisions. but i have always been the kind who had to learn the hard way.

i heard a lot of glossed-over metaphors, like: "your body is like a present, you shouldn't let anyone unwrap it until your wedding night." "don't touch anywhere a bathing suit would cover."
i understood the idea that i was not supposed to do these things, and that they were sins, but i didn't quite grasp the idea that by choosing to break the rules, i was breaking God's heart and my own in the process.

the first time i remember hearing a christian talk about sex and sexuality in a real, raw, honest and beautiful way was at
PCTC in high school. but by this point i had already buried myself waist-deep in sexual sin. i heard what she had to say, but i also acknowledged that i had an addiction, and it was a love-hate relationship i wasn't ready to give up. that same weekend i found myself running back to my comfort zone of male attention and the adrenaline-rush forbidden fruit.

i wish more
christians - especially women - had been more raw and honest. i wish i had been told the stories about the rapes and abortions and the heartache and the emptiness sooner. most of all, i wish i had listened when they told me there would be consequences, and what it feels like to have your heart completely shattered. i wish i had been able to really believe that God's infinite love far surpasses any that a human man can offer.

i wish i didn't have to see my sin for what it really is - completely disgusting - so foul it makes my stomach turn. but i fully acknowledge that if i hadn't seen my sin for what it looks like to the Father - to my maker, the being whose image i am stamped with - i wouldn't understand my deep need for Jesus. for forgiveness. for redemption.

i'm in remission. i'm still struggling with coming to terms with what my sexuality as a human and a woman and a christian looks like. it's guaranteed to be a lifelong journey. i am so thankful that i know this much thus far.

what do you wish you knew
then - that you know now?