This One's for Chris
So, my blogging/writer friend and fellow sojourner on this journey, Chris mentioned to me recently that I hadn't written in awhile and he's right. I don't recall the last time I wrote, but I do have some things that I'd like to share - they might be short blurbs, but they are important I think. Information of where I am, where I have been and hope for where I am going.
- This summer was a remarkable one. I went to Germany for four days, Poland for ten and ended with the Czech Republic for 4 more. It was quite an experience and I learned a lot about myself, about the world and was one of those trips that coming home and getting some distance from showed me how amazing it really was. I could not be more thankful for that trip, the people I met, the things we saw and what God showed me along the way - even in my stubbornness and frustrations.
- Things can be very difficult sometimes in life. It seems that no matter how nice and easy things go, there is always something just coming around the bend that threatens to upend and destroy the most peaceful calm. But God has shown me so much in the last three years of how He never changes. He is unfailing and a rock like no other. I keep coming back to the truth in Hebrews 6 of how deep, strong and effortless it is to let Christ anchor me in Hope, Joy and Peace. There isn't anything like it.
- When things are hard, and you feel like no one believes a word you say, when you feel defenseless, I have learned that Jesus stands strong as my advocate and that small kindnesses from people around you - like a beautiful smile when tears are streaming down your face, or a hug at the end of a day, or a text with a silly thing to laugh at - they are echoes of eternity and enough to keep you swimming until the next day.
- Hope never fails. And I'm not talking about the emotion or the thought, I'm talking about Jesus as my hope. As long as I remember that Jesus is where my hope, my defense, my life exists....then I can rest in any circumstance in full trust of Him. In His hands, I am secure.
- The new Civil Wars album is out. There are not words to describe the beauty, the heartache, and the overall amazingness of this album. If you do not have it, buy it. NOW. It's catharsis in the most pure form. Good art is always something that makes you feel something. There's a song on the album called "Dust to Dust" that could be a page out of my own heart - it touches all of the deepest places in my heart.
- Speaking of Music - as worship music goes, the new Hillsong Live album, "Glorious Ruins" is hitting the spot. There isn't anything more perfect for where God has me. Hard to imagine that God could have known I needed that album, those specific songs right now. But He did and it came at the perfect time.
- This summer has been a bit of a break from school work and I needed it. But I'm ready for school to start again. Reading at a breakneck speed, getting myself neck deep back into my thesis research - all of it. Looking like something I'm excited for. The first of my school books on Latin America arrived yesterday. Can't wait to dig in.
- I'm reading a book in the mean time called "Beauty Will Save the World" by Brian Zahnd. There aren't words that can describe to you how amazing it is. I'm taking it very slowly because of the deep truth, but in a sense it is a lot like the book of Hebrews. It essentially begs the reader to see the beauty of the Cross - grace and redemption in the sacrifice that Jesus gave us - and compare it to all the things that modern Western Christianity wants to replace it with - politics, legalism, theological debates, etc. When set beside the beauty of the Cross, every single human effort to represent the gospel in other ways fails miserably. We need to go back to the beauty at the Cross and set it in our sights. Thankful for this book. It's making me fall in love with Grace and Redemption all over again. That's saying a lot considering I've been deep in all the other ways - politics, moralism, theological debate, etc - and finding my way back to the foot of the cross.
- Something I've learned on the journey - if you have to say that God is teaching you about humility, or feeling like you've made steps towards it...you're probably wrong. To think on humility or study it is going to lead to arrogance in thinking you're humble. Humility - true humility comes from moving into Jesus deeply and others see it in you. Me, I'm not obsessed with how God has taught me humility. I'm obsessed with how arrogant I am at all times. Even that sentence - to me - smacks of arrogance. Maybe that's why I've stayed away from blogging so often. Because I think it can lead me to a Know it all condescension in writing. It disgusts me to be arrogant, but I know that in my deep heart, that is true. So I bring it to Jesus feet time and time again.
- There is a deep and comforting power in having family who is not only related by blood but also my brothers and sisters in Jesus. Sending a text to my brother and asking him to pray for me. Talking to my sister in law & Mama and hearing Godly counsel and encouragement that goes beyond placations for feeling better. Having my dad come and pray over me before an important day begins. Those things are priceless. I serve not only with my Jesus family, but members of my own family who are my Jesus family too. That bond is more precious to me than anything. I am so thankful for it.
- I think it's time to revive the Thankful posts from so many years ago. My dear friend Joy reminded me that it was an encouragement to her. I forgot how that it was beneficial not only to those who read it, but to my heart as well.
- Movies. So many movies to talk about. The new Thor movie comes out and I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Chris Hemsworth with flowing hair and drapes around his shoulders. Yes, please. :)
- Next blog...let's try for something humorous instead of such heavy seriousness! :) Perhaps a diatribe on customer service? Or Twitter happenings? Or Facebook ridiculousness (no that would be a tornado of horrible proportions - a FACENADO!) -- let me think on it and get back to you. But ideas are welcome...in the comments. Go ahead, tempt me with tantalizing topics.