Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Backstory, Lots of God, Now-story, Update, Trust without Borders.

So the other day, Brian was like "You haven't blogged in a long time. A VERY long time. I liked reading those. Your blog is still saved as a bookmark you know". Hint. Hint. :)

He's right. I haven't. Hadn't even thought about it, to be honest.

Maybe it's time to restart.

I decided to try it on for size and see how it goes :).

This is a good time to re-visit the blog world as I think that I have some stuff to say that is worthwhile.

So once upon a time I had a sweet, beautiful relationship with God. I was in a world where the pursuit of Christ was everywhere, surrounding me, I was immersed in delicious worship, deep covenant friendships and a model of doing life together, chasing God together, throwing yourself entirely into Him. This was a beyond-words amazing place and I am eternally grateful and thankful that I was able to be there and experience that. I think that was important for many reasons, now in hindsight. A key reason that I can identify from this side of thins is that I know what is possible. I know what a deep, daily, intimate, communicative walk with Christ looks and feels like.

Then we moved. Out of that world. And it broke my heart. For a while I searched and searched for a similar model here in the Dallas area, and there was nothing to be found. I felt lonely, betrayed and dry.  i was so sad, because regardless of how much I tried, I could not get to that place that I was once in that felt so healthy and alive. In Dallas, as in much of the world and in everyone in some respect, there is the tendency to have religion, God, Christianity, be an accessory to your life. You are central, the world and universe of your life revolves around you and one of those orbiting planets is God. [Insert loud, obnoxious buzzer sound here]. This is not how it is supposed to work!

But without realizing it, I slowly drifted into this pattern. Oh, I still loved Jesus, in fact every once in a while my heart would ache and I would feel such a sense of missing that relationship that I would be very faithful for a few days with Bible reading and praying, just to get into a routine again and forget. I have loved Him for mostly all my life and have sincerely followed hard after him for many years, so my heart and my head knows a lot of right answers. A lot of biblical wisdom and truth, but my heart felt so neutral. So numb.

I have, on many little short occasions in which I was trying to be better, prayed for my sweet husband and his relationship with God and very clearly I would hear the answer "You know what chasing me looks like. You model what following hard after Me looks like. He needs to see that". I would try, but my mind would be filled with thoughts that centered around me, and, now I realize, that I was still keeping me in the center.

I don't know why we are allowed to go through the seasons that we are, but we are. This has been a DRY DRY DRY DRY season. One that initially I was still very faithful in, but as time has gone by I have felt, at least spiritually, that I have been just existing. So lifeless.

And then a few weeks ago (about 3?), it's like a shell that was over my heart and the eyes of my heart was cracked and opened and my heart broke at how idolatrous I had become and at the state of my relationship with my sweet Father in Heaven. The timing is nothing but divine, because the Village started preaching through a series called Recovering Redemption the next Sunday. I haven't been excited about going to church in a long time, but I was excited and then got there and was very impacted by the timing of all this. One of those things that you just know is a God thing.

And I feel so immensely grateful for the faithfulness, for the mercy, that allowed my eyes to be opened to the condition of my heart, to the Holy Spirit who broke that shell and flooded my heart, bringing me to tears and driving my heart to repentance. I have realized over the past couple of weeks, as I find myself praying all the time that God would please allow me to keep this sight, keep my heart remembering the season of spiritual loneliness and to submit my heart and keep Christ central to my life and to everything.

I am just so blown away by the grace and by the timing. I have picked up Max Lucado books for Brian for the past few years and he would start them and then lose interest. We are now reading through one together, but separately, and having such good conversations about what is going on with Brian's heart through the chapters. I am reading Knowing God by J. I. Packer and am being inspired and amazed that I haven't read this before. We are being faithful and committed to our homegroup and meditating through this current study that is allowing me to work slowly through this change and not (please, God) have it be just a fleeting season. And all of this is fruit of and driven by the motivation of knowing and loving God and not, as previously, just bettering actions.

My heart will always lean towards wanting me to be in control (how silly that sounds), and doing works for works sake, but I am feeling so grateful for this reprieve and season that I am being allowed to train my heart to submit and surrender to God. To sit in His embrace. My heart declares the glory of God as my mind fills with the most beautiful sunsets and seascapes. He has reminded my heart of the sweet relationship that we once enjoyed, of the daily discussions and the communion that He desires with my heart (which continues to just blow my I love you).

I know that seasons change and this will not last forever, but should my amazing God grant me the mercy of working change in my heart and my soul such that this revival of my desire for an intimate walk with Him, such that it would permeate the seasons, oh how my soul longs to breathe like that...

I have much more to say, but don't want to get ridiculous here.

I guess that's good. I guess that means that the chances of an additional blog are high :)

Loves <3 nbsp="">

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baldness etc

So my friend is going to shave her head. Yes. HER head. My friend Whitney is going to shave her head this year for St. Baldrick's (, an organization that raises money to fight childhood cancer of all varieties.

And I think she's brave. But I agree with her that it's only hair, and that the true warriors are the kids that live this story every day. She has wanted to do this for years and there have always been things in the way or legitimately good reasons why it just wasn't a good idea that year. But this year she's going for it, and I'm 100% supporting :).

I think that it's a really cool deal because of the solidarity that it shows to those who are walking this scary and intensely difficult road. That they are not alone. That they are incredibly loved and supported and we are willing to stand with them and help them fight as much as we are able.

Peds oncology has a special spot in my heart. Maybe thanks to my time up in Albany, getting to know some of the coolest kids that this world has likely had the privilege of meeting...and then seeing them move on, so that the next "world" might be blessed by their presence. So much depth of sorrow and yet so much depth of joy.

Sometimes I wish that it didn't take something as dramatic and devastating as a potentially terminal diagnosis for us as a community to fight so hard for solidarity. To fight for community and fight to be there for our "brothers" and "sisters". Because this is awesome, and having been to these events, the energy is AMAZING and there is something so powerful in watching people from all ages, in both genders line up for their turn to pledge their support to this fantastic mandate. This passion and this drive. That I may learn from this...


Well, just to clarify well, I am NOT shaving my head. I fully support those who are, particularly my dear friend, Whitney. It's a great cause and a collection of pretty amazing people.

Loves (or, in honor of Whitney....For the Love)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breathe in...breathe out...

So I am not usually so much into the meditation "messages" side of yoga. I have been to many different studios and the ones that have a set daily "devotional" kind of thing I just tend not to like as much. And my current studio (that I am loving) doesn't do this, but here and there something is said that is really poignant or causes some generic introspection. Each instructor is different and they each tend to have encouraging things to say in the way of pursuing balance in life, but it doesn't feel like a forced weird deal with "om's" and stuff.

So today Lisa (the instructor, who I love and reminds me so much of a family friend of ours, Paula) started off as most classes do with awareness of breathing. And then she paralleled breathing to life and how we need to both inhale and exhale...many of us "inhale" so much and take, take, take from life without "exhaling" out. If you think about the physiology of that, and take a breath and then continue to try to inhale...very uncomfortable. Same goes for exhaling...(and this is where I find myself a lot). If you continue to breathe out and give to everything without taking time to inhale, you have nothing left to give and you/I find myself gasping for little bits of "inhale" or things that would feed myself.

God made us to breathe. In and out. If you don't concentrate on your breathing and just lay on your back and relax, or watch someone sleep, there is a natural rhythm of in and out, sometimes a little more in and then a little more out...if we are working hard we need to do both more rapidly. And what an amazing parallel this is to life and our giving to others and needing time to be filled and "Sabbath".

Then I thought about how we are called to a life of giving. That is the model that Christ left for us is to constantly shine Him to the world around us. But what I tend to forget is the "refill" or the "inhale" that Christ also models and tells us to be intentional about. And of late I have found myself emotionally exhausted and feeling like I am doing nothing as well as I should. And this makes sense. Nothing is getting my full "exhale". I am down at the bottom of a breathe, taking little desperate sips of air here and there  in order to have a little more to exhale.

How frantic does that feel?!

Then taking that further...what is the air that we inhale? I have been (as mentioned in a previous post) working quite a bit. And as a result of working the past, I don't know, 6 sundays? I have not been to church in at least that long. My home group, though I am appreciative for them, is very new to me and I don't have there relationships that encourage my spirit. I have found myself in a place where any spare moment that I have to myself (which are few and far between) I feel obligated to fill with some responsible activity (laundry) or succumb to the need to zone out or sleep for 30min, and as such the Word has not filled that space. My sweet husband, full of patience, has ended up seeing this madness happening and has felt very lost as to where to go to help me, and has just felt that he is adding to my "exhale" and not being adequate to fill my "inhale". This is such an unhealthy place to be!

So thank you Lisa, for being a vessel for my ever-gracious Father to speak a timely word to my heart. To remind me that yes, I am physically in the position where there is a lot required of me. But in order to continue to survive, and especially to do so with any sort of peace, I absolutely, must,  intentionally, take time to breathe in. And He promises to fill that inhale with healing breath if I let Him. And maybe that is one of the many reasons why we are called to "pray without ceasing" be constantly aware of and inhaling in, our amazing Holy Spirit (ideally in a very natural rhythmic way) such that we would be always able to give the next thing that is required of us a full "exhale".

And then there is the physical aspect of "inhaling". A small amount of time dedicated to being still, pursuit of sleep that is sufficient, and realizing that it is okay to ask for help with other areas (like cleaning, etc) that would overwhelm that carved out time.


One more step in the journey...

Welcome to my stream of consciousness...I'm glad you could join me.

Loves <3

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yay for shelves and no fungus!

So I feel like I pretty much work all the time. Which is seriously interfering with all the other things that I want to do with my life, like getting through my new book-friend, Les Miserables....jetting off to fabulous places to watch my girlfriend shave her head for St Baldricks, working out every day, cooking healthy food every night...and keeping up with the laundry...but that is what this whole thing is all about anyway. Trying to pursue some sort of balance. I sometimes think that it would be nice to have more hours in the day, but then I'm pretty sure they would just get filled up with more time-sucking things and less with things that are important to me. It's definitely a work in progress.

So the latest and greatest news is a little one that I have been taking care of is in the clear to get a new central line, which is important because it's his only form of that's super exciting :). I have found myself definitely praying for this one outside of work because things were looking tenuous for a while as we were trying to get his systemic fungal infection under control. Sigh. Yay.

Also, we are getting shelves in our extra room - maybe I can post before and after pictures whenever we actually get this all set up. But I am trying to turn it into a library-feeling room and I think that we are going to make it work with a little help from IKEA :). I actually got a couple of shelves from my lovely parents-in-law for christmas, but my sweet husband had forgotten to ask me about the details of what I wanted and so they didn't fit well. He felt awful and so it has been a big deal to him to make sure that we make my library plans work sometime in the early part of this year. It looks like we are going to borrow my father in law's massive truck on Saturday and go get the stuff. When it will all be put together? That's another

I have recently discovered Pinterest, which I somehow do not think is going to help my pursuit of peace and time management, but I am going to try to limit the craziness if possible. I have done well on not losing much time to Facebook in the last year, so maybe with that personal precedent set this will not turn into the spinning vortex of sucking up all my extra time. :)

Loves <3

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New Blog.....we'll see :)

So I really did enjoy when I used to blog...once upon a a land far far (north) away...

But I had to stop. Life changed. New season. New priorities.

And it took me a while to figure out if re-instituting the world of the blog was even going to fit into my life anymore. Because the intent of the last blog (to discuss through living in upstate NY during PA school whilst planning a wedding) is just not even a little relevant anymore. (Thank heaven, because otherwise I might actually be dead or in prison from committing some sort of aggravated

So here I am now. Working full time at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, full-time wife to an amazing Brian, involved in completely different things since I last parted ways with the wonderful world of the blog. And I think it's time for an update....