Friday, May 22, 2009

Song of My Heart

I've always been a somewhat meloncholy person. I experience deep joy, to be sure, but I've always had a natural bent toward depression. Or so I thought.
Last night we didn't have small group, so I went to IHOP. I had an incredibly wrenching time there on Saturday afternoon with my friend Kate, and I wanted to hear more of what the Lord wanted to say to me. I hung out for about an hour and a half (which is not terribly long, given that it takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get there, one way) and felt like it was time to go. Gathered my stuff, went out to the car, and turned on the radio as usual. Felt impressed to turn it off. Uhm, OK. I try to speak, and literally heard God say, "Just be quiet. No music, no Russian, no talking. Just listen for once".

Yikes. So I listen. It's a l-o-n-g drive home, but especially so when it's silent. However, I felt like the Lord was telling me about my tendency toward depression, and how it wasn't designed to be part of me.

Even though I only listen to Christian music, I tend toward the more contemplative, meloncholy. The be-bop songs like, "Free To Be Me"? "Oh Happy Day"? Notsomuch.

God's been talking to be quite a bit about how who I am is not who I think I am, and this meloncholy streak is part of it. Other people who know me well, who know my heart, see me as enthusiastic. I know, I know, it's totally weird. However, in this process I have to believe that they know more about me than I do, especially since we're all hearing the same great big God.

One song that's really been blowing me away lately is "Oh How He Loves Us", the Kim Walker song I referenced last time. The song is great, but hearing her speak is amazing. Just wait til she gets going, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about here!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rest and Crowns

I met with Ransomed Grace last night at our church instead of at her house because she's facilitating a class there that would conflict just a bit time wise with our normal meeting time. I was surprised at just how comfortable I was there, in the lobby on sofas, instead of the comfy cocoon of her home. Must be that I just feel safe with her. The work is hard, but it's good. It's really good.

This morning I decided to skip the gym. I know, I can't believe it either. However, my hip flexors are killing me again, and I really can't take myself totally out of the game here. Had we gone, I wouldn't have seen the sweet thing I'm about to relate to you.

The Joyful Babe got ahold of the Firecracker Princess' Sleeping Beauty tiara. She knew what it was, knew where it went, and tried to get it on her little head. She couldn't seem to do it, though. She played with it a few minutes, turned it over and over in her chubby little hands. I could see how beautiful it would look on her, how frustrated she was in her attempts to crown herself. She chewed on it a few minutes, then eventually abandoned to chew on some crayons instead.

How often do I do this? Give up my crown as a princess because I can't affix it myself, because I'm too busy, afraid, tired, or lazy to ask my Daddy to do it for me? How often do I abandon my pursuit as the King's own child to follow something easier? I felt a little tug at my heart watching JB, for I knew how gorgeous my daughter would look in her crown. I knew that, were she to let me put it on her little head, that she would be a vision of lovliness, called into her destiny. Instead she chose to chew on wax, and it doesn't satisfy.

Lord, today I want what You have for me. I want to walk into the destiny You've set before me, leaving absolutely nothing of my inheritance on the table. I want to be Your daughter first, before anything else. I want to identify with the royalty that is Christ, be clothed in His garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. In Jesus' name. Amen!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Most Meandering Post I've Probably Ever Written

Have you heard of a worship leader named Misty Edwards? I was initially VERY cautious about listening to her music because of her friendship with Todd Bentley, who gives me extreme pause (to put it mildly). However, yesterday my friend Kate and I went to IHOP and something amazing happened.

Ransomed Grace asked me to read a ten-page teaching on the jealous heart of God, and I decided to spend my time at IHOP working on it. It prompted me to ask the Lord where I struggled in each area he brought up. I wrote in my notes that the teaching said, "This one characteristic of jealousy alone (that He is jealous over us when we put something else in first place) should show us just how special we are to God". Immediately, within literally 5 seconds, the worship leader changed to a song called "How He Loves Us", a Kim Walker song, which opens with, "He is JEALOUS for me". OK, so God had my attention.

Later, I was working on the question of, "Lord, why did You make me"? As I began to meditate on that, she started to sing, "The one thing I know, I was made for Your love" (the teaching says we are made to be in relationship with Him).

Now I'm REALLY paying attention.

After IHOP and lunch, Kate and I went to get her hair cut and colored. It took almost FOUR HOURS. Seriously. Anyhow, so she gave me her iPhone for me to make friends with (LOVE), and had me listen to some Misty Edwards.

It's called Dove's Eyes, whose lyrics in whole are these:

I don't want to talk about You like You're not in the room
I want to look right at You I want to sing right to You

I believe that You are listening
I believe that You move at the sound of my voice

Give me dove's eyes
Give me undistracted devotion for only You.

Have you ever thought about that before? How we talk about Him like He's not in the room, like He's not EVERYWHERE? I know how I hate being talked about like I'm not in the room, how much worse must that be for the Lord? Sigh.

Right now He's doing some stuff in me, and I feel like I want to rip off my skin. Not literally, of course, as I'm not a self-injurer. So I was asking Him what that feeling means, and he said that my old skin doesn't FIT anymore, and that I feel like I have to get out of it. Then I realized just how much all of this is going to hurt, more than I've prepared myself for. I've been begging Him to give me back the full weight of my emotions since my affect has been somewhat hollow, but in that moment, I asked Him to close my heart off just a little, so I could keep on, you know, breathing. It helped me see just how double-minded I can be, even when I haven't realized it.

Off for a quick neighborhood run before a shower and church. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just Another Brick in the Wall

Do you have a wall? I have lots of them, and they seem to be boxing me in these days. You know, a brick wall. The thing that if you're running hard and fast enough toward will make you bounce when you hit the ground.

I know some of the ways God works. One of those ways is that your walls all come together at the corners. They grow so tall you can't scale them, so thick you can't shatter them, so dense that no one can hear you cry for help. Well, almost no one. There comes a time when the Lord needs you to turn to Him so deeply that He'll let your own stuff hurt you so you'll look up, press in, move on. I am in this place.

I have built some amazing walls, if I do say so myself. Each brick is crafted with care, inscribed with its particular hurt or wrong. I mortared them myself too, with amazing precision. They're solid, those bricks of mine. But now I'm in a place where they're ready to come down. I hear people calling to me to fellowship with them, and I can't get out. I hear the sounds of the life I'm called to have faint in the distance, and I want to run there. Except I can't because of these darn walls.

The only way out of this mess is to let God break down the walls, break down my heart, melt the hard places. It's not fun. It's not glamorous, it's not even really all that fascinating to anyone who isn't in it with me (though it seems that RG has endless amounts of self to invest into this process, which I find bewildering as really, I'm just not that interesting). But it's good. It's sweet to feel God's pleasure as I walk through it. It's sweet to have friends affirm small changes as they see them. It's sweet to know that my relationship with the Lord is growing deeper roots.

"For who despises the day of small things?" Zechariah 4:10

And a friend's favorite verse,
"Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you." Zechariah 9:12

I am, you are, we are forever and always PRISONERS OF HOPE!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh crap

That's pretty much all I can say about my life right now. I'm hanging on.

I've been dealing with some sports injuries and, upon receiving some counsel from fitness professionals, decided to cut my workouts by 50%. It about killed me. Not only did it about kill be, but I've gained SIX POUNDS in THREE WEEKS. My clothes don't fit. I look radically different. I've lost strength and endurance.

Clearly this is not going to work for me. I will lose two hours of workouts this week for more important reasons (Music Man has a concert and am visiting a grieving friend), but otherwise there are no excuses. I'm approaching my 1-year anniversary of beginning my weight loss journey on June 2, and I was hoping to be at my final goal by then. That's not going to happen, especially as that's the day we return from WDW, but I'd like to be able to say I achieved SOMETHING in this 12 months.

Next, I'm not pregnant. We aren't trying, and for the first 24 hours that I thought I might be, I freaked out. Then God RADICALLY changed my heart. I was so sure I was pregnant because of that 180 degree turnaround that the MM and I picked out names. Seriously. And now I'm not. Part of me is glad, part of me is heartbroken. All of my has learned that thinking I have any control over the whole process is just foolish and requires repentance. It would've been hard either way.

Finally, Ransomed Grace has me doing work that feels impossible. Truly impossible. She's had me write statements on what I believe about myself (good and bad), as well as things I'm afraid of, things I doubt. We discussed them, and then worked together on a few truth statements to stand against them. The ones we did together were hard enough, but to do them on my own seems ludicrous. Needless to say, I'm putting a call in to her later today, but I just don't like where I am right now. Not in the least.

All that to say, I'm being quiet. I'm trying to process and trying to cry and just dealing with things as they come. Crap, this feels hard.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Does 30 Mean Old?


I turn 30in about 24 weeks, and have felt lately that I am too old to learn anything overly complicated anymore. Silly me. So far in my 29th year I have ALMOST finished my fitness certification, gotten a new tattoo, and decided to take up a third language. I minored in Spanish in college. I actually tested into graduate (500) level courses as an 18 year old, so I have a gift for at least THAT language (though I'm terribly rusty now). :)

So what lanugage did I choose? Well. It's interesting to want to learn something new and not have a real need to choose a particular one. When I thought about possibilities, I considered Portuguese because there are so many Brazilian people in my church. Decided that was too close to Spanish.

Wasn't really interested in anything else, and then I thought about Ransomed Grace and how she just spent a decade in Russia. I realized that there were all these little pockets of that nation all over my heart, starting almost 20 years ago when I wrote a ten-page paper for Spectrum on Rasputin. My therapist in high school adopted her son from Russia and had taken some basic Russian; I remember her writing the characters for "telephone" on her yellow legal pad. When I managed ready-to-wear at Dillard's, many of my employees and one of my colleagues were Russian. Of course now I have Ransomed Grace in my life, and I haven't asked her outright, but I don't think she'd mind terribly to be my conversation partner when I get to that point.

Honestly, she'll probably get a laugh out of my attempts. So for now,
до свидания!