Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi

-Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi-
No matter what your language, cadence, or creed, I'm glad you're here =)

"She's tired of flat lands and cornfields, Seashells traced in snow. She wants more bugs on her windshield, She don't want to go alone...She talks about her waterfall fountain, And her house out on the bay. She's in love with broken glass mountains, Fireplace cafes."

Translation, please!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hope for Orbit

Haze and blur burst to vibrant Light
Coloring life all hues
Bathing in glory

Steady                  Steady                Steady

Painting the world with every tic
tock, tic

Showing off, pulling out the stops, putting on a show
Beauty and magic and mystery and…
and sinking

Even flames have color
Falling planes do too
And sinking ships

Submit to Darkness

Hope for orbit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is Mark a robot?

I'm stuck on the Crucifixion.

I've read Mark 15 for days.

At first it was intentional - I didn't want to breeze over the most pivotal choice both man kind and God ever made. And then I was sucked in. I have so many questions.

Why does Mark kind of gloss over it? Why is there no grief? Is it because he knows what happens next? Is it because his mentor has just faced a similar fate? Is it because there's a sting that Jesus rose and Peter does not?

I tried to read it without thinking about the next chapter. I tried to read it like someone who doesn't know the story. In Mark, the telling of the murder of Christ is brief. It's kind of has the feel of, "let's get through this bit so we can move on to the rest of the story." He kind of glosses over the unpleasantries.

In my mind, I picture myself reading this for the first time - I picture myself seeing the scene in my head. If I was still myself, but myself without God, reading this story would send me over the edge.
I have anticipation issues. I always want to know what comes next and I get a bit of anxiety if the next step remains undecided for too long.

When I read books, I need to know. I've stayed up all night and into the next morning to finish a book because I need to know.

So, if I were me, but not me, I would have gobbled up this chapter and careened right into the next. "What?! Mary and this guy's mom saw where he was buried? Why does that even matter? Oh my gosh. This is going to be a late night."

I wonder if that is how Mark felt. I wonder if he was so excited to get on to the next part, the hope part, that he kind of saw the back story as a means to an end. That sounds harsh, which of course is not what I want. I think you get my meaning.

Part of me understands that. You need history to have present, to have future. And so much of the time I am so ready for what is next I forget to remember that what was before is just as important. We repeat history when we forget it. I repeat history when I forget it. When I forget what God has done, when I forget how far I've come.

But then, another part of me wonders...Was Mark trying to avoid the grisly stuff? You have to have it in there so the story makes sense, but it's so concise. This life altering, world changing, history making, future forming event is written more like a timeline and less like a story.
This part of me understands too though. How often do we cover up the ugly? How often do we hide the sad and the desperate and the lonely? How many times have we held in our struggle?

I wonder about Mark. He couldn't have been much older or younger than me. This young man penned an account that is in THE book. You know? This young guy wrote down some one else's story, and it is in the very pages that guide us today. I'd love to ask him what he was thinking. I want to know if that is just the way he writes, if that is just part of his personality.

Maybe though, he was a trooper. Maybe he wasn't hiding his grief (his mentor had just died after all. That's got to be pretty heart breaking). Maybe he felt led to write this account of Jesus' life. What if he felt led to do it, but he was still sorrowing over the loss of his friend? What if he didn't simply say, "Lord, I can't. It's too much." If he was anything like me, he would have thought and prayed and argued a little, and then, he would have given a brief, "Ok, Lord. I'm in."

Perhaps Mark doesn't skim through the torture of Jesus for any reason other than he was called to use his gift in a time of pain and grief and sadness. And he answered that call by submitting to God and doing the best job that he could. Despite how he felt.
And it's in the Bible. His book is in the Word of God.

I think that God doesn't always call us to excellence (of course He wants us to be excellent - what Dad wouldn't?). I think that He calls us to submission. And I think from that obedience come things beyond what we can imagine.
Mark's book is in the BIBLE. That blows my mind.

Side note: I think Mark and I could have been great friends. I bet we'll hang out in heaven.

We've been reading "The Jesus I Never Knew" By Philip Yancy in my small group (the book is awesome - you should read it. It's challenging me in all kinds of ways). And in there is an incredible quote by C.S. Lewis that I'd never read before (I know that me wanting to quote C.S. Lewis will come as a surprise to you seeing as how I've never referenced him or his work before - get over the shock as best you can).

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward … promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea."

This is such a perfect example.

Maybe we don't think we measure up to God's standards (Yancy also addresses this in his book - seriously, read it) so He could never possibly want us.
Maybe we have lost the capacity to dream - maybe our hope receivers have shorted out.
Maybe everything looks too bleak - life is too hard, too heart breaking, too soul crushing.

We become so accustomed to mud pies that we can no longer comprehend the vastness of the ocean.

I think it's time to wash the mud off my hands and go play in the waves.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Promising Sunsets

The other day, the Oregon sunset was a stunner. If you missed it, don't worry, I have pictures.

I love nature. I don't particularly want bugs (or most animals) to touch me, and I have a semi-irrational fear of most flying beasties. But, that doesn't mean I don't see the beauty in them. Bees and bee like things, for example, are what I would (slightly melodramatically) call my nemesis. But I can appreciate them for their pollinating ways, their intense work ethic, and unwavering devotion to their royalty.

I had a friend jokingly tell me that I am maybe a little over appreciative of nature, but as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing. (I know someone is going to say something, so I'll add a disclaimer. Yes, worshiping nature is taking zeal for the earth too far. But that's not the page myself, or my friend, were on).
The beauty of this earth is meant to be enjoyed.

I watched it as I walked to my car, trying to examine every fluff of cloud in sight and analyzing the way the lingering light hit each one, and the resulting colors being played upon them. I stared breathlessly at the vastness as I drove down a nearly empty road, the white lines reflecting the sky and glowing pink. I shifted my attention off the clouds to the setting sun itself, bursting orange and pink. It glowed softly now, it's work almost done for the day. Where the light was still the brightest, the color was intense, making it look kind of shiny. It looked like orange lava in the sky, molten and dangerous and stunning.

Smiling, I congratulated God on his creation, and told him what an awesome show he was putting on for us tonight. "Man, Lord" I said, "that really is gorgeous. I know you don't need my affirmation, but gosh. That is some good work."

It was right then, in that moment, I felt him whisper, "just wait until you see it later. Wait until I show you the sun all over the world."

That's when I started crying.

 But then I realized where I was (exactly the spot my dear friend and I had been stranded on the side of the road, in a summer storm, just a month ago) and started laughing.

After I somewhat regained my composure, I asked him, "How can you do that to me? How can you just drop a promise into my heart like it's nothing?" And boom. That's when it hit me. To God, it IS nothing. Not that it means nothing, giving your children gifts always means something. But that it IS nothing, because he can do anything.

In that moment I was so blown away. I could almost picture God smiling at me, like a person smiles as they watch someone unwrap what they know to be the perfect gift.

It is sometimes so hard to believe that my perfect Lord loves imperfect me. That my blunt and bumbling ways don't deter him or his will. But the reality is that we are all SO deeply loved by a God who delights in giving us the things our hearts need.

And that's just pretty dang sweet.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013



I go through these phases.
Dark and thick and creeping.
During the day it's rough, but the worst is at night when I'm sleeping.
See I go through these phases -- Phases of nightmares.

The first ones triggered by some silly movie, the next few much more real.
Much more dark much more dense, much more evil
A mugging, a murder, an unexpected death.
Creeping and crawling and writhing in my subconscious, stealing my breath.

And, bam! Launched back into reality, I jerk awake.
Unsure in the dark, unknown what is true and what is fake.
It's just a dream, shake it off. That's what I tell myself
when I sit up in a cold sweat. It's just a dream, shake it off.

Darkness follows me into the light.
Ice begins to challenge heat.
Night is on Day time's heels and tastes the sweet
taste of victory.

It followed me in a haze around my head
Until the crack, when my smooth exterior broke
How do You look in me and see something so pretty
When I look in and see something so flawed, unfinished gritty.

So afraid of being loved, I built a great, vast wall
I built it up so just enough could get in, which was hardly any at all.
On my knees, vulnerable, weak, lost
Came the whisper, "Let it go, Little Mouse"

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"
                                                                      -Leonard Cohen

Friday, May 3, 2013



Rainy days and clear nights, but cold all the way through
The clouds and sun always fight, for who has the better view
Spring has sprung in the Great Northwest, and it is prettier than most
All of nature dressed in its best, as if to make Winter a ghost.

Blue as eyes and oceans deep and wider than the plains
Puffs of white drift lazily, over swaying fields of grain.
Summer skies fly far too fast, warming us with bright sun
We must learn to make them last, before the warm days are done

Then Fall arrives cold and bright, shining ever more
Clouds turn more grey than white, warning us of storms
Leaves change colors, yellow, orange, red, and brown
And then slowly join the others, to lay upon the ground

Cozy on the inside and dark on the out, as Christmas time draws near
To remind us what the season is about, Harold Angels bring cheer
Grey and cold and wet and dark, it seems it will never end
But then sun peaks through like a spark, Spring is around the bend.

Locked Out

I'm going to tell a story today. It's 2am and I just got home. I can't remember the last time I did that. I thought I'd go straight to sleep when I made it to my bed, but I just had ice cream and I am too hopped up on sugar to sleep. But it was ice cream with girls I love, so it's worth it =)

Tonight, I went to the Iron Man 3 movie premier with a group of friends, some old, some new. It was a good movie, maybe my favorite of the three. I recommend it =)

But the story I want to tell, is not about the movie, or about my sugar high induced blog post. No, the story I want to tell is far more embarrassing, as many good stories are.

My friend and I had planned to meet at the theater to wait in line for the movie. However, I beat her there and decided to go get dinner since I had some time. So I drove out to Winco and go about my shopping. As I'm perusing the salads, a man walked up and stood [far too closely for my comfort] next to me. He had his phone in his hand, and was playing music loudly. I accidentally made eye contact with him - mistake. He then started singing along and doing a little bob to the music and he kept trying to make eye contact again. At least, I'm assuming that is what he was doing...he tried to wriggle in front of me twice =P

So, I quickly made my selection, and carried on my merry way, but he followed me! Not directly behind me, but on the other side of the bins, staring, singing, and bobbing all the way. He finally made his way to the check out as I took my sweet time looking at drinks. I didn't feel like he was particularly creepy or anything, it was mostly uncomfortable and amusing for me =P. You know how sometimes the beginning of a situation happens and you are suddenly struck with the feeling that this is probably a bad place for you to be right at that moment? It wasn't quite that bad =P

So I pay for my things, and reach into my pocket for my keys, but come up empty. I try all my pockets, nothing. So I go back everywhere I picked something up and so might have set my keys down. Still nothing. So, I walk out to my car, fervently hoping that I somehow managed to leave the door unlocked - no luck. I did however, see through the window, my cell phone. So, both my keys and my phone are locked in the car, and I am at a store outside of my usual choices and only Anna knows where I am.

So, like a child, I had to go into Customer Service and ask the nice lady if I can use their phone to call my parents. I call one family after another, leaving messages because none of us tend to answer calls from unknown numbers. I stood there listening to ring after ring and praying that someone would listen to their voicemail and come save me.

I walked back out to my car, standing facing incoming traffic in case someone should appear. I drank a whole can of Arizona Tea just in about ten minutes out of sheer nervousness. As I stood there , I realized that it would probably be at least an hour before anyone made it my way, if they had even gotten my messages at all. I stood there, just hanging out, trying to decide if I wanted chap stick badly enough to go buy a stick from inside or just tough it out.

I had to dodge both bird and bee that came after my dinner and my tea. I felt helpless as I saw my phone light up through the window as my friend grew more and more concerned. As time passed, I waited feeling very foolish and careless and embarrassed. I started talking to God, just hanging out, you know, not much else to do in the Winco parking lot by my locked car. I prayed, "Lord please make someone come quickly! Or maybe someone with the same kind of car as me can get it unlocked! That'd be cool" And as I was talking, I realized that I had a choice. I could be all bummed and frustrated and insecure about becoming a permanent fixture of the Lancaster Winco Parking Lot, or, I could choose to laugh and be light about this less than ideal situation I had gotten myself into.

And, lo and behold! My sister came in like the Calvary to save my silly skin. She brought me my spare AND an apple - which for me, is like someone bringing me candy =P]

And that is the story of how I spent about an hour alone in the Winco parking lot on Iron Man afternoon. It;s not fun, I don't recommend it =P But I do recommend making sure that you have people in your life that have got your back. Even thought I couldn't get a hold of my family, and they couldn't get a hold of me, I didn't doubt for a second that one of them would come to my rescue eventually. They're pretty great =)

Thanks for Reading <3

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Good Fight

My brother is known for blaring loud, upbeat music, while he works out. He often opts against headphones because...I actually don't know why. 

Maybe he gets tangled in the cord.

Anyhow, he plays this music that I have no idea what genre to place in. It's a combination of screaming, shrieking  and talent. If I knew any of the artists, I'd give you a few names.

He says it, "amps him up." You know, gets the blood pumping, heart racing - induces motivation. 

I've always found this incredibly odd but, upon further research, it appears I'M the odd one. Surprise! =P
I prefer sweet music when I work out. Music like the Civil Wars, The Freelance Whales, or The Phantom of the Opera [I love musicals. I have no shame]. I guess I find it soothing. Maybe it's a difference in personalities - for me, getting "amped up" takes an incredible amount of emotional energy. Music isn't going to cut it. And on top of that, if I'm going to get all emotional, I certainly won't have a good work out! Emotions are distracting things, after all.
But my brother, loves adrenaline. He loves to feel motivated and stirred to move. I think he loves that rush, and the endorphins don't suck either.

All of that to say, that recently I've been listening to Gungor when I work out. They are so wonderful, I think everyone should love them. 

I was running on the track behind my house this evening and in the midst of the pretty dusk sky and the less pretty dusky bugs flying into my face, I was struck anew by a line of a song that I've heard many times.

"And at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith"

THAT is what resonates with my heart. That at the end of my mortal life, my legacy is that I have fought the good fight of faith. I'm currently putting that into practice as I gear up to enter a Bachelor's program within the next year, and then a Master's soon after that. I don't know where I am headed, and the idea of leaving everything and everyone I am familiar with scares the living daylights outta me. But I am determined. I want to hear and obey.  The song continues like this:

"I pray your glory shines
through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that You

You are my strength
You and You alone
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home"

I always feel very humbled when I hear that small whisper, "Darling, it is not about you." I often get swept up in how I feel or what I think about my plans or situations I'm in, and forget that my life is not mine. That my desire and my purpose is to live to let God's glory shine through my heart. But God is so, SO good. Seriously, He's  my favorite =) He is ever gentle and ever wise. He reminds me with tenderness how my heart ought to behave, and he never allows me to feel unloved. 

What an awesome God.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ch-ch-ch changiing

Short post, I just had some thoughts that I wanted to share.

I went on a hike with a dear friend of mine today. We've known each other since the 6th grade and have remained friends through all kinds of phases and stages that our lives have wandered through. Even without the good company, deep conversation, and beautiful Oregon, that in itself is pretty dang cool.

I love hiking, I love being outside [as long as no flying beasts show themselves...the little devils.] I love seeing how nature changes and yet still somehow remains comfortingly constant. I've hiked the trail we were on before, and it was wonderful to have my memory jogged as we turned corners and went up hills and saw things that were familiar to me, but still not quite the same as they once were. A newly fallen tree, different flowers and colors, the way the water changed course to acclimate to the new additions to its current. All so very pretty and wild.

Something that popped up in our conversation was that neither of us really saw the draw in staying the same people we once were. Our high school selves, for instance. I wouldn't want someone I knew in high school to talk to me and tell me I hadn't changed - I would want them to see my heart and how it's grown and learned and loved. Not the scared 16 year old I once was. I would want them to see the me I am now - the reflection of the God I love so dearly, the impact different experiences have had on my world view and on my messy heart.

I thought the irony of these desires being reflected in the surrounding nature was worth a mention. If I hiked the same trail over and over and nothing ever changed, I would be concerned. For there to be life, there must be change. Otherwise there is no room for new life, for growth or development. If plants never died, if trees never fell, the soil would be depleted of its nutrients. Much the same way a stagnant life leads to mediocrity.

I suppose there is something to be said for the dangers of too much change as well - too much change creates instability and doesn't allow for roots to grow. I happen to like change so this right here is my danger zone.

I suppose that a balance of times of change and times of growth, like in the wilderness of our great world, is what really allows growth and maturity. It seems to me that no matter how we try to make things happen in our own power, you can't have good growth without change, and you can't have good changes without growth.

Thanks for reading =)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

1 Samuel 16:7

There's this verse that is fairly well known, that I came across in my Bible reading recently. I'm so terrible at memorizing the addresses of verses, I can tell you what it says, but when it comes to where it says it, I'm generally at a loss. Needless to say, I was a tad surprised when I stumbled upon it and was struck by that realization - almost a deja vu - of, "Hey! I know this!"

The verse is 1 Samuel 16:7
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

I have a distinct memory of the first time I heard this verse. I was visiting a friend's youth thing...I only remember there being girls there, so maybe it wasn't their main youth group. But it was "inside-out" day and I remember thinking that was dumb and why on earth would we turn our clothes inside-out when they were perfectly fine inside-in? Things of that nature in youth culture still puzzle me to this day.

Back to the point. I remember hearing this verse - it was the memory verse for the night - and being comforted by it. Even though all these girls I didn't know were seeing the awkward, insecure outside appearance of me, God was seeing my heart. And that is the vein I've remembered this verse in over the years. I've remembered it as a consolation when I was feeling down or judged or unseen. I knew that God hadn't just looked at the spacey, overly friendly, day dreaming child that I was. I knew that He wouldn't merely glance at the scared, rabbit-like, under socialized middle-schooler or the quiet, insecure, lonely high-schooler. He hasn't just seen the sad 18 year old, the lost 20 year old, or the aimless 23 year old.


My God sees something far deeper, far more moving. He sees the heart. He has seen my unwavering love for foreign lands and people. He has glimpsed into the vulnerable places that humans don't see. He has seen the mess and the confusion and the frustration. He has seen the beauty and purity and the relentless yearning to be in His will. To be on the path I should be on, at just the right place on that path. He sees the desire and the love and the depths down to my core. THAT is where He looks. Not at the bad hair days, not at the nail biting, or the weird stuff my skin does every time the weather changes.

But, as I read this verse - maybe even for the first time in my adult life - I was struck by something. Since my wonderful God dives deep into the mess of my heart instead of looking just at my outward self, doesn't that then beg a question to be asked? Am I proud of what would be found in my heart if God opened it up and took a peek? Am I ashamed of things He might find hidden away in there, or is it an honest representation of the life I live on the outside? Is it weaker, stronger, dirtier than my outward life? Or does it reflect the advice I give, the words I "preach?"

The fact that the God of the Universe is looking at my heart makes me want to have the cleanest heart possible. Not in a "Dad's coming! hide that junk!" kind of way. More in the way we want our Dads at our sporting events, musical performances, plays, work places, etc. We want him there so he can see us and how well we're doing. We want him there to be proud of us. It is in that way that I want my King to see my heart. I want to be doing well, hitting home runs, singing my best song, and for a smile to touch his face. I want a clean heart.

I know that there are going to be times when my heart is tangled and messy, but that is where the comforting side of this verse comes in. Yes God is seeing my heart, but He is the BEST dad ever. My dad is pretty incredible and often says the right things at the right time. But God? HE is truly perfection. He knows how to deal with my mistakes and short comings. He knows how to handle my sadness and disappointment. So we don't need to be intimidated that He's taking a look around our vulnerable, sometimes fragile, hearts.

 He is so good =)

Thanks for reading <3

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Though I've yet to see your face

Though I've yet to see your face

When I don't feel it, when I can't find you,
And seems you're nowhere, with not even a trace.
When I can't say your name, when I don't know you and
Though I've yet to see your face

I will hold on, I will be true
I will be still, I will listen, I will wait-
When I don't feel it, when I can't find you.

With heart, with strength, with faith,
I restlessly await, wavering for none.,
Though I've yet to see your face

I can't help but to yearn, is there else to do?
When my ears don't recognize your voice,
When I don't feel it, when I can't find you

I don't know the feel of your embrace-
I've heard great tales of your love,
Though I've yet to see your face

The day will come, like fresh morning dew
But for now, I wait in this same time and place-
When I don't feel it, when I can't find you
Though I've yet to see your face