Saturday, March 22, 2008



i feel like i got a little lost last week. time has become a funny facet of my experience lately. the passing and preserving and pacing and racing of this measurement has seemed rather awkward lately. perhaps it is my inward wrestling with the countdown to nica.

44 days. in 14 days, it will be exactly one month away. this inevitably begs the question of how does one emerge from a life she has so fully thrown herself into here to dive into another extension of that life in a totally foreign environment? it's coming to that point of transition where i begin to dread the impending separation and start berating myself for having gotten so fully involved in the current life. especially this time around, as i KNEW it would be extraordinarily short. but then i stop myself. i am learning to wade knee deep. i am learning to be all of me in whatever place. i am learning that life is best lived when you are fully engaged, alive in your current moment. the overwhelming sense has been one of satiation, yet also a struggle between micro and macro lenses. i have immersed myself into a heart ministry with three, soon to be four teen girls. i have poured out and become vulnerable with a handful of amazing people. i have stayed with a community of brothers and sisters. and all of this makes it that much harder to leave.

but i am not dying. not wholly, anyways. sure, there are parts of me that will inevitably fall away in this next season. and i'm hoping tons more that will sprout up and grow strong. my fear is then returning to this place i am leaving, and finding that i no longer fit. but my hope is in knowing that some people are taking this journey with heart and spirit. and while we will both be different, i am so thankful to have travel companions across the miles.

in less philosophical news, i decided that i can only eat so much easter candy before i feel wretched. and that amount is much smaller than i anticipated. part of me is rejoicing, as this means less self-control is needed, but part of me is ill with the realization that the limit was reached two chocolate eggs ago and now i get to hang out with the stomach ache. time to hit up the vegetables...bunny eared bell pepper anyone?

happy easter my fellow bloggers. no matter your beliefs or position with God right now, my hope is that in some moment of today you will experience the love of Christ. that it would reach to the depths of your being and remind you of what you were created for. and that from there, a new branch may begin to spring up. that the man who died so many years ago would become real to you - not a story or a theology or an excuse or place to debate, but a real man that lived to do the will of His Father. and that this will was to die that you might live. to bring you home to the One who created you to know Him. maybe you won't make any life changing decisions today, but maybe you'll allow Him to tell you how He sees you. i have found that those moments impact me profoundly.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

word cascade

thin fingers grip that samsung
like its her lifeline
the pain in heart masked
by the eyeliner and sass
but i see it. oh, i see it.

and it begs me to look away
ignore it and pretend all's
happy and whole
but i can't, no, i can't

driving fast with the singer wailing
like the wind might carry her
but it remains
clutching the fabric of her soul
drawing her down, down

and it begs me to look away
ignore it and pretend all's
happy and well
but i can't, no i can't

is love stronger than her fear?
is light able to cleanse her heart?
can those shackles really fall?

kingdom rules say yes, but i don't know
so i smile at her and take her hand
singing along and hoping
the wind might carry us away.

Monday, March 10, 2008


some people have no issue having crushes on celebrities, historical figures or even fictional characters. i have never really been prone to this sort of interest until last night. i found my very first historical figure crush - ernesto che guevara.

so i'm telling this to luke over coffee, when he looks at me and says "he was kind of a communist. and killed lots of people."

oh right. watch motorcycle diaries and see if you don't fall in love with him. unless you're male. and conservative. and against communism. ok, a lot of you probably wouldn't. really i shouldn't. i am not about armed revolution. but his love and concern for the least of these...his desire to connect with the poor and sick, showing them dignity and respect. his inability to let things remain as they were. those things are attractive.

the interesting part of it all to me is that some of the things that drove che were similar to the things that Jesus cared about. but when we try to move forward in these things without the love of Jesus...we end up hurting a lot of people. it is good for me to remember this.

and i am SO STOKED about living in Spanish real soon.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


today two of my ichthus pals are getting married. childhood playmates, high school sweethearts and after a reprieve, they chose to become lovers for life. i am thrilled for these two and the journey they are beginning, but this one among many wedding occasions is stirring something within.

i think my idea of marriage is skewed and scarred by an irreverent culture, controlling religion and plain old fear. i know in my heart of hearts it is a fantastic gift. yet lately there has been a bittersweetness to it all. i thought at first that i was just jealous, just selfishly unable to rejoice with those who rejoice. but it persisted, this nagging sadness, and this morning as i ran, i began to peruse it.

sure, there are all the issues of my being single/leaving the country and everything i know for two years that color this. but underneath it all is this sense of loss. i have heard friends say, "oh i lost my friend to a girl" when this friend gets a new girlfriend. or this sense of finality as the ring slips on the finger, as if all the friends are saying farewell. what i know about marriage tells me that this is ok, that this is part of it. the man and woman shall leave and become one...the union of two becoming one front. obviously, friendships will change. the best friend is now the husband, not the roommate from college. this is the logical order of things and proper. right?

this is my issue. i feel like a chasm opens up between single and married friends. i have watched best friends stop talking to each other. i have heard and been a part of the cynicism on the single side, and experienced a sense of arrogance from some married friends. "oh, until you're married, you just can't understand..." but again, there's a part of me that says, this is ok, this is how it should be. it's just how it is. even from the point of living missionally, it makes "sense." married people have the mission of their marriage and thus this creates a bond. single people have time/room for other missions, so they can bond through this.

but below all of it, there is this ache that says absolutely not. with the divorce rate at 50% and raising, both Christian and non-Christian, something tells me that something is not as it should be. if we are all part of the body, i don't think that there should be this split between married and non-married. i don't agree that marriage should be your greatest mission in life. i think that marriage should empower the two united to live out their mission better...not leaving it behind to make your union itself the mission. if marriage is meant to reflect the relationship between Christ and His church, shouldn't marriage then be inviting, drawing people into their experience? shouldn't it reflect the pouring out and serving that flows out of the relationship between Jesus and His people?

i'm not saying i know how any of that plays out. obviously. i'm not married. but i definitely think that the way we approach marriage is not accurate these days.

i know that marriage in a lot of ways has to be between the two married. i also know that there has to be time and energy and intention placed on loving each other well. i just feel like in some ways we have swung to the extreme, encouraging ingrown, closed off relationships that stifle and wither. and when they do, we don't want to see it or say anything. so people suffer and wither within themselves. i just feel like the church should be different. i feel like we need to wake get some perspective. i'm not saying don't get married...i hope to be married one day myself. all i'm saying is, does your union reflect the union Christ created with His people? does it invite people in or shut them out? does it resemble two people facing forward together, or facing each other? is it your ultimate mission, or does it enable a greater one?

i know a couple that i feel represent this. dean and jenny lead my pastorate, and i adore them. they are both uniquely themselves and yet totally "married". their love is simple yet clearly spoken. and it invites. never once have i felt uncomfortable in their presence, like i was imposing upon their relationship. it's their marriage that has created a foundation of love that pours out into our group and individuals. and all this i can see simply from interacting with them at group. i don't know the ins and outs of their marriage, how he folds his laundry or how she cooks spaghetti. the point is i don't need to know. you can spot a healthy marriage, a life-giving one, from miles away.

this is my prayer for zach and kristen today, and all my newly engaged friends. that they would be able walk through this next part of their journey facing forward, embracing each other yet inviting others into the joy they are experiencing. that this union brings more life than could be found separate.

*stepping off soapbox and begging for mercy from the indignant crowd*