Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How I Feel At The Moment:

Just like the ending to The Avalanche by Sufjan.

How it rises and builds.

And makes you want to shout and cry and dance and sing for feelings you aren't even entirely sure you are feeling...

But you know you want to.

"Come on, Stone!
Come on, Star!
Come on, Snow!
Come on, Car!
Come on, Hand!
Come on, Feet!
Come on, Face!
Come on, Street!
Come on, State!
Come on, Song!
Move it fast! (Take it up!)
Move it along! (The Ohio River!)
Come on, Life! (Take it up!)
Come on, Lord! (Take it ever!)
Make it right! (To the Mississippi!)
Make it Yours!"

Come on, come on, come on.

Make it right, make it Yours.

Monday, October 27, 2008

...And if not for Grace,

Oh, all the things that I would be...

This wrecking business is turning me into Waterworks City.
But when I ask for sorrow, I should expect sorrow.
But it's such a funny little kind of sorrow.

I am sensitive (as in alert) to so many more things now than I used to be.
But also, I am sesitive (as in emotional) over those things than I ever thought I would become.

I am surprised at my own heart and what is inside.

Something's coming.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Part Two

How on earth do you make someone who has only ever known a relational eastern culture truly understand a time and task-driven western one?
Especially when they are half a world away?
Topped off with a language barrier?

Apparently, love alone cannot always speak loudly enough.
And the best of intentions can only get you so far.

I have already cried once for Thailand this morning.
A certain situation made me realize the things I were saying were actually true.

"Yes, I am happy here in America, but if I could, I would be back there in Thailand with you right now."
"If it were up to me, we would be like real sisters again, living in the same place."
"I love you and miss you very much and it hurts me that you do not believe that."

How do you do everything at once?
How do you make everyone happy with you all the time?

I guess you just can't.
Because I have tried all I know how to do.

Today, when sorting through some CD's, I saw one on the list literally called "Bomb Iraq" by a man named Rusty Humphries.
It's a parody song album.
The back of it had a little blurb that said something like, "Dedicated to all the brave men and women who serve our country. The best way to intimidate your enemy is to make fun of them."
About WAR.
Over thousands upon thousands of lives being lost.
Literally "making fun of" human beings. And death.
When I found the CD I stopped dead in my tracks.
My heart was so heavy... in a way I have never really felt before.

And I cried again.

These are PEOPLE! Honestly, what about that is so difficult to understand?!

You know, Jesus, when I asked you to show me depths of your heart and the sorrow that is held there...
I didn't expect you to do it so soon.

You work pretty quickly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Sorrow

We must not underestimate the weight of the importance to "know how it feels".
Without Jesus' own desire for such... we would be at an eternal loss.
The funny thing is though, that in our pursuit of Him, often times we miss this essential component of becoming LIKE Him.
To suffer His sufferings and to feel His sorrows.
We miss this... because we would simply rather not.

And who could blame us?
It's uncomfortable.
It hurts.
It's lonley.
It's everything out heart clamors to run away from.

But I am quickly becoming incredibly aware of how deceiving the illusion of comfort and safety really is.
Not only that... but how dangerous it is for us to choose to believe the deception.
Because it is NOTHING like the life that Jesus Himself chose.
Even as I write this, I notice its absurdity and how much my heart, body, mind, and spirit want to deny deny deny.
To read between the lines of His words.
To find something else... anything else... that fits my hand like a better suited glove.
One that I chose for myself.
One that I prefer.

But see, thats the thing.
I surrendered that right a long time ago.
Along with all my others.
And it is not my place to try and take it back.
And even though often times I have tried, I have failed.
Because it is in those times that I try to function alone... left to the weaknesses that used to define me.

What if I took You up on it for once?
What if I ventured out under the umbrella of Your Word and Your promises ONLY?
What if I actually let you BE the God You have promised me You are strong enough to be?

I have been too afraid of the lonliness.
That has been my functioning deception.
But Jesus chose the ultimate lonliness.
To be away from his Father, from glory.
To walk a place riddled and covered with the sin He had never known.
To be constantly and consistantly misunderstood... and left.
...To live a life of being left.
...To be left.

He was left.
He knew He would be left.
And He came anyway.
He knew the lonliness and uncomfort that awaited Him.
And He came anyway.

So how on earth have we turned that true Gospel of His own actions and decisions into empty rhetoric about how God's greatet desire is for us to be comfortable, clean, and happy?

There is something extremely unsettled that rises up in my spirit when I think of that.
It is not the Gospel that resonates in my heart as Truth.
Because it is not the true Gospel of my Jesus.
Of my LORD.

To suffer.
In order to truly understand Him and to feel His heart... and to honestly know Him in order to make Him known... we MUST suffer.
Without it, we cannot bring His kingdom, because we have no idea what it holds.

The great paradox of my God, however, is this... which I do not now, nor never expect to understand until I reach completion:
In the midst of that suffering... there is joy.
Inside of the sorrow... comfort.
Life. True and abundant life.

I will admit now that I have NO idea what that means.
It goes against every single way my mind has been trained to process happiness.
But I serve a God who turned the world on its head when He sent His son to bring His kingdom.
The rules and laws of my nature no longer apply.

I will admit also, that part of the reason why I have no idea what that means, is because I have never tasted it.
I have never truly chosen it.
I dont have the slightest clue what it means for Him to give me HIS life... and HIS joy... and HIS comfort... because I have been too busy chasing after mine.
And too afraid to stop.

But I serve a God who does not lie.
Who cannot decieve.
And He has promised all these things and more.

I don't understand it at all.
I don't have the slightest clue how it even begins to work this way.
It makes absolutely no sense to my head...But something in my heart is shouting louder than ever before right now.
Telling me try Him at His word for once.

To embrace what I do not know.
To trust what I cannot see.
In order to gain what I could not imagine.

Fairest Lord Jesus, where do I begin?

Let me feel your sorrow.
I want to know your heart.
It's deepest depths.
Let me feel the pains that are held there.

And hold nothing back.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


There's this something that I know I need to do.
And lots of somethings that I know I need to say.

Speaking the truth was never intended to be an easy thing to do.

And I am just going to have to get over the fact that I may come off looking like a hypocrite.

MY name and MY renown are not the desire of my heart.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today, I find myself dwelling on what it means to be "holy".

specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground.
dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.
religious: holy rites.
inspiring fear, awe, or grave distress: The director, when angry, is a holy terror.

-specifically definitions one and four.

What blows my mind is the fact that I have been declared holy by the only One who really is ultimately Holy.
And, having already been declared as such, I am recognized as having that "pure quality".

But do I realize it and live up to my own title as much as I should?
Or even ever for that matter?

free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter: pure gold; pure water.
unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous.
of unmixed descent or ancestry: a pure breed of dog.
free from foreign or inappropriate elements: pure Attic Greek.
clear; free from blemishes: pure skin.
(of literary style) straightforward; unaffected.
abstract or theoretical (opposed to applied): pure science.
without any discordant quality; clear and true: pure tones in music.
absolute; utter; sheer: to sing for pure joy.
being that and nothing else; mere: a pure accident.
clean, spotless, or unsullied: pure hands.
untainted with evil; innocent: pure in heart.
physically chaste; virgin.
ceremonially or ritually clean.
free of or without guilt; guiltless.
independent of sense or experience: pure knowledge.

The Purity of Holiness takes it's root in the Beloved.
In becoming and being the Beloved.
It is what I am already consecreated to be and have been since the beginning of time.
It is the "taken" in the process of being Beloved: Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given.
It is the essential first step.
It is a necessary decision to claim my holiness and let it define and transform me completely.
In every single way that it possibly can.

Holiness leaves no room for halfway.
Holiness leaves no option for other loves or split affections.
Holiness cannot coexist with apathy in any way.

Holiness is passionate.
Holiness is radical.
Holiness is so incredibly out of the ordinary; and honestly, out of place in every system that this world has set up for itself.

Holiness is fucking nuts.
REALLY messed up.
Why on earth would I want to pursue it in anyway?

Why would I ever want to accept the call to be holy as He is Holy?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I guess you can only go for so long...

So it had been quite a while now since I had cried myself to sleep.

And you know what they say.

When it rains,
it pours.

"And the longest winter is now on it's way.
You didn't ask for it, but now it's too late..."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have to know her name.

I met a woman tonight.
I don't know her name.
For some reason, I didn't ask.

We were walking and her sign caught my attention from the corner of my eye.
It was typical: cardboard. Chicken scratch handwriting.
At first glance, the only thing I noticed was that word.


I looked again. Longer, this time.

"Tired of prostitution. In need of money."

I took a step.
My heart stopped.
A few more steps... and then my feet did the same.
I couldn't move.
I could barely breathe.

She has to know.
She has to know that there is still hope.
And I know she at least saw enough of it to make the step she already has.
But she has to know that there is more.
So much more.
Waiting to be embraced.
That SHE herself... whether she knows it or not... is simply waiting to be embraced.
She has to know that she is lovely.
She has to know that she is worth more than this.
More than that.
More than feet that shuffle past her, or the men that use her and toss her away.
More than the scornful looks, and judging glances.
More than those who ignore her because they would rather her not exist... and her story not be true.

She has to know.

I search my wallet.
I turn around.
I walk to her.
I hand her the bill.
I look in her eyes.

"I want you to know that I'm really proud of your decision."

"Thank you. Thank you so much."

I touch her hand.

"You're going to be okay..."

I walk away.

Her eyes.
I can't forget them.
They were so sad... yet right on the brink of something.
On the very edge of hope.

It's two thirty in the morning.
I can't stop thinking about her.

Please, Jesus.
Please let her be there again tomorrow.
I will go back.
I will look for her.
Please just let her not have moved.

I have to know her name.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

For Ashley.

I wish you had been with me to see it all and feel it all and take it all in too.


I love you, best friend.

He tried to focus on his book, but it was no use. The skyline called. And the setting sun warmed his face too gently to be ignored. He looked up to give it the attention it deserved and as he held its piercing gaze, the memory of that place he once called home came to him again.

Why had he even left Italy in the first place? These days, it was hard for him to remember. Well, sometimes. Other times, there were days like today with moments like this one where New York City seemed like the most beautiful place in the world. But most days, his soul knew better. Those hills, that sun- nothing could rival it in all the world. He was sure of it. But as lovely as it was, scenery alone couldn't make him stay. It wasn't enough. The small town life just wasn't the kind of life he was made for. He knew his heart was longing for adventure that was bigger than these vineyards could ever contain within them. And so he had waved goodbye to the only place he had ever known to come to a place where they all said dreams came true.

But they hadn't really. Not yet, at least. A small apartment, a shitty job. No one who really knew he was even there. There were bodies all around him everywhere, but he constantly found himself wondering where all the real people had gone. No one seemed to look him in the eye or even want to know his name.

And so came the books. He had enjoyed them as a child, but now, he thrived on them. They were his friends, companions, and conversationalists. The most loyal he had found since leaving the family that he loved so much. They transported him to different times, different places, different worlds. And sometimes, through them, he even became a different person, surrounded by different people. People that he could know intimately and thoroughly in a way that reality could never offer.

He looked up. The sun had disappeared behind the buildings. All that remained were the last traces of its rays- as if they clung to the sky to remind it to hold out hope that the sun would indeed rise again.
The same hope he clung to now.
The sun would indeed rise again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I just want to say

that I got a job.
And I'm pretty excited about it.

More details when I know more about it.

Pokey LaFarge show tonight with Alexis.
I think a phone call to Somer is in order.

Life is beautiful.

I love this place.
And I don't just mean Brooklyn. Or New York City.
Or this world, even, for that matter.

I mean this state of being I find myself in these days.
Moved by and for and through and with the Holy Spirit at every moment.

Purposed living.
Intentional living.

Stopping to breathe.
Noticing the symphony disguised within the chaos.
Appreciating silence... instead of fearing it.

I love this place within myself that I have found,
where the Spirit of Love is alive and well.
Very alive and VERY well.

Jesus... I adore you.
Thanks for just being You.

Monday, October 6, 2008


In what I have found, so far, to be the least pretentious place in all of Williamsburg.

This coffee house, that doesn't even have a sign on the wall or hours on the door.
No decorations, no clutter, no fluff.
Just simplicity.
And community...

Some people that walked out earlier had apparently brought the staff here dinner tonight.
And the workers seems to want to know everyone by name.

This is rare.
They are hiring.
I think it's meant to be.

Basically, I love everything about this place already.
I have never ever EVER in my life felt so at home anywhere I have lived.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the people that made Saint Louis home and at times, I still lament silently over the fact that I am no longer a part of their everyday lives and they are no longer a part of mine. But it is so clear that this is exactly where I need to be right now. And I cannot even begin to tell you the peace, comfort, clarity, and hope that come from reminding myself of that at every moment of everyday.

By the leading of the Holy Spirit through two very very dear sisters to me, I am reading a book right now called Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen.
It is completely beautiful and so much of what I needed to hear from the voice of God recently.

Many decisions have already been made and many more are on their way.
But know this: Holiness is worth being pursued. At all times. In every way.
Mostly in the small ones...
Because it is within those small moments that the real true decision of what kind of woman I will be is made.

I will pursue.
And even more...
I will let myself be pursued by Holiness itself.

I am my Beloved's and He is mine.

There is absolutely NOTHING more beautiful, more captivating, more defining, and more comforting than that.

10:41 in New York City...
and all is well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


So I'm sitting in Kaldi's trying not to cry.

I just had to say goodbye to the most beautiful person in my life.
After an entire day/week of constant goodbyes...
No wait.
Scratch that.
We all just said, "See you later."

Because I know it's true.

Sometimes, it's hard to be hopeful.
Sometimes, it's not.

Sometimes, it's just hard to figure yourself and your own feelings out.

Sometimes, you have to do what you know you have to do even if you're scared absolutely shitless to do it.
Sometimes, good enough just isn't good enough anymore... and you have to see what you are capable of.

Sometimes, even when your hands are shaking, you are able to hold fast to the hope that you have.
And sometimes, when your vision starts to blur, you are actually finally able to see things a whole lot clearer than you ever thought you would.
Sometimes, things just make sense. Even when they don't.

The end can be beautiful too.

This time, I'm not coming "home".

...This time... I'm finding it.