I Read it Wrong

I know. Grammar dictates the above should be “I read it incorrectly.” 

Grammar can be such a communist leader, sometimes. 

I shouldn’t try political humor. I’m too unschooled on the subject. Of Politics. Humor I’ve got. Humility, also. :)

I am a person with dyslexia. I am not dyslexic (defined by the therm) or A dyslexic (as though I can be bound into a group based on this issue alone) but a PERSON, who has dyslexia.

A human female who has trouble reading, sometimes.

And who hates herself for it.

This is not a helpful attitude to have toward oneself in any sense, but especially when concerning a malady over which one has NO control. Especially when theology tells one that this has no bearing on one’s worth.

But I tell you what, I sure am hard on myself about it.

Every time I register for classes, I go through a 5-tiered check-and-re-check system when assembling my schedule. Because I’m so incredibly concerned I’ll do it incorrectly. I’ve done it incorrectly so many times that even now, with all these checks and plans, I still get mildly anxious when looking at the registration page for school.

Numbers are PARTICULARLY difficult. I mix them up more often than I get them correctly. When having to recite the sound of a number I fare well, but in writing or reading them, I’m a mess.

There is a part of me that absolutely gets all the reasons why this is just a thing and it is fine and no reason to be upset and even less of a reason to be upset at myself.

But there is another part of me that feels stupid and inadequate because I read things “wrong,” kind of a lot. I’m self conscious about it in new situations. Which, of course, makes it worse. Because (and I’m not going to go into the science or logic behind this but it’s just true) when your brain is busy worrying about things around you, it’s not best able to concentrate on the task-at-hand, and even less so when said task is something at which you have little natural ability.

Image

So.

I’m dyslexic a person with dyslexia (person-centered language is still hard for me in this area).

And I want to tell you this not because I want you to understand and be kind to me. No one has ever intentionally been unkind about it. (Well, before I understood what the problem was, some people did think i was stupid because, in reading things incorrectly  I’d get confused. But not anyone who ever had a real conversation with me.)

I say this because I think maybe you’ve got a thing too. Maybe you’re a person with trouble sleeping, or a person who often says the wrong thing. I think you might be a person who has trouble with your thinking or doing in some way that makes you think you must really be below the curve,

you must really be a broken one,

you must really not be worth much.

And that is just NOT the truth about you. Like it is NOT the truth about me. Like the things which trouble or plague me over which I DO have some control also don’t mean a damn thing about my worth.

Because the TRUTH about people is that they are made by God,

in His image,

Loved by him and therefore declared loveable and lovely because.He.loves.them.

And all the things we see, be they differences in ability or appearance or attitude, those are just descriptors,

not definitions.

And when I find something hard or messy or hurtful, I have come to understand that I’m not the only one dealing with it.

Entonces, I just prayed for you. I prayed for those who read these words, that they would know: that their worth isn’t tied up in the trappings of this world. That Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, came in strength and truth and through his life, death, and resurrection He rescued and redeemed all his people for all time* to walk forward in victory and LIFE abundant and good works that he prepared in advance for them to do IN HIM. That He is now and will continue until his return using every circumstance, even the ones that make me bad at reading, for His glory and our Good.

(check out the video on that link. especially if you’re iffy on this whole “Jesus gives me value,” or even “Jesus is real,” thing. Or for that matter, come over and lets have coffee and talk about it.)

Telling God What To Do

A few nights ago I was on the phone with a friend in crisis.

 

She was freaking out. She’d admit she would absolutely admit she was losing her dang mind. And my hear WRENCHED for her. In the middle of her story, realizing I was lost for anything helpful to say or do, I started praying,

“God, give her strength. Give her courage, calm her heart, let her, let her…let her….”

is this a band? it's what I feel like God was telling me to do

I couldn’t pray anymore. I was all caught up. Even the words in my head didn’t make sense. I very clearly understood that I was being quieted, that there was something even more that I was supposed to be paying attention to. So I listened. I listened to her, hurting, grappling with confusion and looking for an answer within herself.

And I listened to me, hurting for her, grappling with confusion over how to help and….as it turns out, even though I was praying, looking for an answer within myself.

Even though I was asking God to accomplish these tasks, I was giving him orders. Now, sometimes it’s appropriate to ask God for exactly what you want. But that’s not what I was doing. I know my heart, pplfriends, and what I was doing was TELLING God what my friend needed so she could be okay….or more accurately (i hate to admit) so that I could be okay with where she was emotionally.

I was reminded of who and what God is: Good.

 

I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths, returning to the Lord with a renewed heart and mind. “God, I trust you. I trust you. I trust your love. I trust your will, your plan, your spirit. I trust what you are doing here. I believe you are here already. You love her more than I ever could. You are not distant. You are not gone. You are not silent. I trust you. I trust you. I love you. I trust your love.”

 

It wasn’t the magic pill that made everything better. When we got off the phone, my friend was still reeling. When we talked the next day she’s had a hard time, she was exhausted from just feeling so much. And truth be told, even though it’s been a while, it’s still not “better.”

 

But the thing is, I really do trust God. I (clearly) forget it, all the time.  I forget, just like the Israelites, that God is in control and that he is GOOD. That anytime I am concerned for anyone I love, he is MORE concerned for them. And that includes me. I forget that his plan includes all factors and ALWAYS leads to my good and His Glory. I forget all these things, and I am desperately and madly in love with the God who is so kind as to remind me of them.

i only googled trust. i like that this one came with "love"

 

What are you telling God to do? What do you forget that you need to remember? How could you pray differently, or better, for the people you love?

Squeezie Breaks Down

If she can’t have milk, but only water.

If she thinks she’s hungry but is only allowed juice.

If we can paint nails, but not until after snack,

or if we can’t paint nails at all because we(she) did not obey.

we were all set up for some fingernail-painting greatness

If the fluffy that she took off the cotton swab renders it useless. Even if there are other cotton swabs right there. Because they are not THE fluffy-less cotton swab she wanted.

after she'd stop screaming, she was feeling tuckered out

And I, in my very finite Tia wisdom, say, “I know it’s hard when things don’t go our way, but we don’t have to cry and throw fits. Those aren’t good choices. We don’t have to be sad because when our plans don’t work out, we can trust God’s plan.”

::WAILING:: “But I WANT to paint my fingernails! I WANT TO.”

“Sweet baby, sometimes we just can’t have what we want. There is no reason to scream.”

Not wanting to admit that things don't have to go her way

And she THINKS I’m talking to her.

But I’m not. I’m talking to me.

Because at this exact moment she is POSITIVE that she will not survive if she can’t get what she wants.

And that kicking and screaming will get her what she wants.

She’s so sure that she’s not being unreasonable, she’s being proactive.

She’s doing what she needs to do.

She looked at me to let me K.N.O.W. she was upset. Yep, i do that too.

Sound familiar?

How many times do we break down? Get rude with customer service, our coworkers, our spouse(i don’t have one, but i’ve probably been rude to yours), your kids. Not because something is genuinely wrong, but because things simply aren’t happening the way we want them to.

We’ve become, what’s the word people use, ah yes, “more refined” in our sin. Our fits usually are masked as discipline or anger necessary to get others to perform well. Our plans seem less frivolous, therefore their failure more significant. Our words against eachother wax and wane poetic.

Starting to see the light.

But in the end, we’re breaking down because things didn’t go our way. Yep, I’m implicating us all. Maybe you’ve gotten so good at this refinement that no one even notices it. But it’s there, in your heart.

For me, it was helpful today to look at this beloved, beautiful, ridiculous child and remember that I am God’s beloved, beautiful, ridiculous child. It helped me love her better and better allow myself to be loved.

What’s next and Why I’ve Been Gone

Sometimes there are things that, because you can’t talk about them right away, you need to wait. Until things calm down, until you have the proper words, until the sting goes away.

And there are some things that you have to just say. This is a little of both.

I’ve been M.I.A. from the interweb world for the past few weeks. I didn’t have internet at home, life was busy like whoa, and some great/awful things happened.

You know. Great/awful. Like, my great grandmother, a woman who we joked would NEVER die, died. Awful. But I got to go to Tennessee, I spent 24 hours in the car with my mom AND ENJOYED IT, I saw my daddy and generally learned to experience that whole side of the family in a new way/was challenged to see my sin in the way I view them now.  Great!

But I tell you, it’s God mercy to me that things have been so crazy, because something that happened weeks ago is something I can just now update you on, because I needed this time so I could tell you and make sure it was the truth, and not just how it feels (especially because at first, it did NOT feel anything like what it actually is). I should get to “it,” right?

 

Okay, some of you knew, some of you didn’t, that my next “step” in life, after myKidStuff internship was up, was to begin student counseling at a Gospel Counseling Center. It was something I was super excited, although never fully peaceful, about. I was hesitant to talk about it for some time because it just always felt a little off. (You non-feelers have NO idea what I’m talking about) But it seemed clear that this was the next logical step, a great opportunity, and an amazing chance to hone skills that I definitely want in my professional career.

A few weeks ago, while discussing the details of the job, those involved (myself included) determined that I was not yet ready for this role.

In the interest of keeping minds from wandering, I will share a few details:

There was no moral failure on anyone’s part, though some honest mis-communication.

I didn’t fail to grow in any way that was ever asked of me.

But I’m just not ready for this exact role.

I (as well as my professors) feel I AM equipped to give beyond-adequate care in a student counselor role.

But that’s not what’s being asked of me.

 

I won’t be working there. But nothing is wrong, no one has been wronged, or failed, and life is still just as beautiful.

 

Now, that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

 

HOWEVER:

Get ready for some AWESOME coming your way. Complete with a new house where I live that i LOVE LOVE LOVE, a new semester of awesome learning opportunities, and random musings of conviction, love, and life as your favorite gypsy/counselor/fashion-wanna-be. Oh and pictures. I haven’t been posting them, but i HAVE been taking pictures. :)

I see Him in them

I have the best friends. yeah, I know, I say it all the time, but it’s true and I can’t help it.

Instead of file-ing again, for today’s post, I’m going to wrap all my friends up in one. I’m going to forgoe the act of separation because they are marked with a distinction oh a common origin. The mark of their maker. Even if they do not know him, they often represent him. They show me his face, they remind me of his pierced, scarred, redemption-earning arms. So for today, for the sake of pronouns and poetry, I’ll make “them” a him, a single entity in many states, like the One they represent.

He, this friend that all my friends would be if they were one person, is amazing. This shadow I see here on the earth that reminds me of my One Great Love, shining in the heavens and beckoning me ever closer to his heart.

And I love when I see him (this friend, all these friends) and “he” hugs me and I know that thought he may not truly know a dang thing about me he cares, and that, in this moment enough. The warmth of his arms and his smile call to me, calm me. I am okay.

To be hugged and cared about.

It wouldn’t be enough. Not if I was looking for him  to “fulfill” me. or looking for anyone to.

I have this basic (gulp) need to be known. And beyond that (for what is more terrifying than the alternate) to be LOVED by the knower-of-me. The one who holds my secrets and still looks me in the eyes and says, “Lovely, I love you.”

I need that. Without that, I die. I become cold and sad and shriveled. I lose hope, heart, even hunger for more. If I am not loveable, if I am not loved, what more is there?

But I am loved. The wars waged against me, while in this world still working themselves out, have one final end: I have been won. I have been redeemed, I have been pulled out of the muck and the blood and the desolation. I’ve been cleaned, matured, made specifically to love and to be loved. It is the very basis of me. Who am I is about whose I am. (His.) And this royal heritage, this prized geneology, this marrying-up, it sustains me.

So though I cannot, here on this earth, see with my physical eyes those above-truths, I know them in my heart.

And I am reminded of them when I see him. When I see Him in them.

Bubba and Belle

if I really think about it, if I really look at them, my brother and sister who are moving across the country and across the world, i tear up.

my heart, unbridled by TRUTH and giving in to perception, cries out along with my eyes. No.

No! Please, please don’t leave. Please don’t go away. I love you, I want you here, I want you near me.

I’ve done it again. I’ve grown attached to people. The deep veins of familial ties never truly established in blood have etched themselves in through these people, this spiritual family. They have become part of my daily routine.

They have become part of my heart.

I was not, at first, quiet about this displeasure. Especially with Bubba. With my Belle, I had more time. I knew this was her plan from the moment I met her. We’ve had years now to grow together and love and as I have supported her, i have, not thinking what it would really mean to not have her (or, in more faithful moments, believing that “what it would be like” is God’s plan – infinitely better than any alternative). So with my Belle, as the date has approached, I’ve kept myself (ever so slightly) in check with the (out loud) “OHMYGOSH DON’T LEAVE ME,”-s.

But Bubba up and made this decision OUT OF EFF…REAKING NOWHERE. (Not true. I’ve known he was thinking about it for months but literally REFUSED TO THINK (or even pray other than a randomly thrown up “oh god, tell him and make it clear….but mostly make it clear that he should stay but i mean, whatever you want, im just sayin..”) about it.

And long story short in a month, they’ll both be gone.

My sweet neighbor who I love and visit and spend time with and who is, as many have pointed out, a special friend, a brother-from-another-mother who plays with me so well that other people will miss our interactions, HE IS LEAVING.

My beautiful gypsy sister, the one who is so different from me, but SO GOOD AT LOVING ME, will be HALFWAY across the dang world and WHO  will i call to come over and have sparkling grape juice and strawberries with my while i scurry about cleaning my apartment and over-analyzing whatever is on my mind and with WHOM will i go on movie dates with my pink glittery flask (a gift from my bubby, the biological brother, the other Valle-felon) if my Belle in in TURKEY. Where the last time i was there, they kept trying to abscond with my passport and squinty-eyed at me even though I don’t have the evil eyes.

(that was a tangent. if those last few sentences didn’t make sense to you it’s only because they don’t make sense.)

This is not supposed to be a rant. this is supposed to be about not ranting.

i’ll ‘splain tomorrow. if i can pick myself out of the “what will i do without bubba and belle” despair.

The Blessing of Unrequited (shadows)

As you may have expected, people have been asking me how I’m doing since that little “in love with someone who wants someone else.” fiasco. (which you can see more about here, here, and here.)

And honestly: I’m OKAY.

See? Cute outfit. I must be okay. ;)

I mean, i’m probably better than okay. I don’t feel any differently about him, but I am trying every day to be faithful with whatever is in front of me. And you know what’s NOT in front of me? That man.

But what is still in front of me is my God and His goodness. And one of my favorite things about God is that since His glory is the point of everything, I can count on everything to teach me something about His glory. Circular references can be the bomb sometimes.

And I am so grateful that my feelings are what they are.

I am grateful that I have no control over this strong, abiding, i-know-will-go-away-when-God-sees-fit, beyond-all-sense love.

Not because it shows me how I should love God,

but because it shows me how God loves me.

And that man not loving me* shows me a lot about how I love God.

I hope this can make sense.

I didn’t choose to want this man. In fact, I fought it like CRAZY. Until I just knew. KNEW  that I couldn’t fight it anymore. There wasn’t anything I could do to change it. And like he told me again and again, the man didn’t change in any way to make me want him. He didn’t measure up (not that he had some failing to cover) or win my affection with his goodness. He didn’t suddenly warrant my love in some way that changed for those feelings to resurge SO STRONGLY. It just happened and I knew it wouldn’t un-happen.

But he didn’t want me.

It reminds me of the love of God. Except he CAN and DOES choose to love us. To love ME in a way that isn’t EVER going to un-happen. He loves me not because I measured up or won his attention with my worthiness. He loves me no matter what I do.

And so often, I just don’t want him. I choose other things (and here the analogy breaks down because I choose far less worthy things. Q didn’t choose anything less worthy, just different).

See I love the way I feel about that man, and even the way he feels about me, because it points me again and again to the greatest love story, told on Calvary with an empty cross and an empty grave. It reminds me that the strongest love I’ll ever understand (which no, i don’t think i’ve experienced yet) on this earth

Will still only be a vain shadow of the love God has for me.

It points me back to how grateful I am for this unmerited gift. This thing I could never earn. This thing beyond words and understanding.

The blessing of an unrequited love all wrapped up in the love I could never hope to match. The love of the Father and King and Lover of my soul.

How have past loves taught you about His great love?

*not romantically, anyway. He’s still a kind, sweet creature. Just one exercising his privilege to prefer another. I can malign no one this choice. Please no, “he’s so {anything}.” comments about him not wanting me. ;)

Evangelistic Encouragement

::Warning: this is a LOT of words and if you don’t like Jesus, you probs will think it’s boring. If you DO like Jesus or even think he’s interesting, you might find some encouragement within::

 

Tonight was the second night in a row that a non christian has sat down next to me and asked me to explain the Gospel.
Let me back up.

Last night I had to leave missional community training early. My friend and co LTG member asked me to join her on her formerly loan-ranger mission field… a karaoke league (yes, they have leagues). I, until this moment, HATED even the idea of karaoke, but we’ve been taught that we need to be IN COMMUNITY in mission, so I signed up. I even found myself getting excited about it. Since we learned just before I left that to be missional we need to both DEMONSTRATE and DECLARE, that was my prayer as I drove to Ego’s bar. “Dear God, please, somehow, in a bar, while people are singing, give me the chance and ability to demonstrate and declare. And …please don’t let it be awkward.” Well, friends, it WAS awkward. My friend wasn’t there yet, so I tried to make friends with a group of girls… Rebuffed! I eventually met my “team,” and sat there thinking “I am so out of my league, here. The only things I know how to do at a bar are get hit on, or avoid eye contact so I don’t get hit on.” Finally, my friend arrives and I think that maybe, i’ll make it through this night.

I’m not sure how much later, my friend introduces me to a man who was not unkind man, just the type you meet and think that people aren’t probably very kind to him. A bit awkward, probably more intelligent than those around him. So, less relateable than the homeboy next to me chugging a brewsky. I get it. But my friend, H, knew him and knew that he was studying counseling so she introduced him to me. What happened next I can take ZERO credit for. Because even though I work at a church, a pretty easy gimme into talking about the gospel, i was only telling people I was a student that night. Because all I wanted to do was NOT get hit (really, something I should elaborate on later) on or feel awkward, and because I WAS SCARED ABOUT SINGING KARAOKE. Through all of this, God was willing to show that He had bigger plans. The man asked me what kind of counseling I want to do.
I said Gospel counseling.
He asked what that was.

And spent the next 45 minutes talking to me about God, the Bible, the Gospels, “church history” (what he knew….which was fuzzy). Since I’ve had the benefit of amazing theology, Religious Studies in college, and GT classes, I had a lot to contribute to the converstaion. He was impressed at hearing what The Austin Stone is doing in the city, and asked about our “bible studies.” I told him I’d bring him a church history book next week. And I will.

A man just sat down next to me and asked me to explain the Gospel. That’s not the kind of thing that happens every day. I mean, sure, we’d JUST prayed that God would change our hearts and cause us to be his ambassadors in the city, but c’mon. Fluke, right? No, y’all, we know better than that.

Then today, i was out at the pool reading Stetzer and Nation’s Compelled By Love. Which, for the two chapters I got done, is a great read. A reminder that we are called to SACRIFICIAL love. Which is the ONLY reason I got myself up from the pool and ready for dinner with my friend, M. (Greater love has no man than this: that (s)he would leave the sunshine by the pool for dinner with her friend.;) M and I know each other from undergrad and we’ve hung out exactly one time in my whole life: when he wanted to hang so I invited him to church. I did the worst job ever on following up with that, but M is gracious, and God is really really loving and really really loves M and will fight even the selfish tendancies in my own stubborn heart to show M that love. We got to Chuy’s and, for a reason I really don’t know, M asked, “So you haven’t always been religious, right?” That one comment turned into me sharing my testimony and sharing the Gospel.

M said he loved God, but he couldn’t be a Christian, could he? Because he’s gay.

I told him I believe everything the Bible says, and the Bible says homosexuality, along with every other sin, is wrong. But it also tells us that we are saved or damned based on one thing, and one thing alone, the atonement of Christ on our behalf. I had my bible with me and we looked at Ephesians 2, and lots of other passages I can’t even remember at this moment. I shared with him and showed him (Thank the Sweet Lord that I decided to bring my chapstick, cell phone, wallet, AND my Bible to dinner. I don’t even remember making that decision.) that the giants of the Bible were all bums who God used because HE LOVED THEM, not because they were so great.
I said, “Yes, homosexuality is a sin. But you’re asking the wrong question. People don’t go to hell for being gay. The thing that makes the difference, that says if you get to be with God for eternity, is if his grace has caused your heart to change, to love him, to have faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for you. Sins are attoned for by Christs’ blood, not our actions.”
We talked so long and so much about God and the Gospel that they called our names, and we didn’t hear. Many minutes later a hostess asked me “aren’t you Ritz?” “yes.” “We’ve been calling you forever. A whole page of people after you has already gotten seated.” They took us to a table, but God wasn’t done yet.
We talked about the Spirit leading and changing us, about God’s way being best because He is God and perfect.
“But how do you choose the parts of the Bible to believe?!”

“I believe it all.”
“The parts about slavery?” then we talked about how God told his people to be good to their slaves, how it was differnt then, and often kinder (like a way to get out of debt) and not at all what we think of today. We talked about cultural context and reading historical works. We talked about how Jesus came to break the chains of bondage. We talked about the place of Godly principals, even in secular practices.

“And about women being submissive?” So we opened to Ephesians 5 and talked about how men are called to love and lead, and the beauty of the roles of Christ and the church played out in real life. How that is supposed to show people part of God’s story. M agreed that if he ever saw a couple like that, he’d think something was different about them.
After dinner, we went to the Match Maker Band event at the St John site. There, M got to really see the community apologetic. He saw people coming together to serve each other, to support. I showed him the pictures of Kibera (a slum in Africa where our church sends teams to go do mission work) and shared about what people are doing in Reagan (a high school where we do the same). I stopped at the picture of N (a high schooler from Reagan) and told him about T (the youth minister) having him living with him for a while when he needed a place to be. Suddenly these friends I’ve known so long seemed so much more remarkable, seeing them from M’s eyes. I even shared that I am a fundraising intern and that my friends send in checks every month that pay for my salary. He was floored. What could compel people to give $10, $20, $100, $250, EVERY MONTH?! Not me, certainly. Just the Gospel, just the love of Christ that calls us to love others.
“This is what it’s supposed to look like. This is how the body is supposed to work. This is how we are supposed to be known, as Christians, by our love.”
“I don’t have any friends like that,” he said. “I couldn’t get anyone to help me move. My one friend, if I ask her for a ride, her first question isn’t where I need to go but if I have money to pay for gas.”
“I have the most amazing friends. But it’s not because I’m great, it’s because Jesus is, and he loves them, and that changes people. I know the most generous and loving people, and that has changed me. And God’s love is supposed to flow out like that.”

After we got back to my apartment to part ways, I sent him home with Redeeming Love, just to read a story of how it’s not the sin that mattered, it’s the persistent love of the Lord. He wants to start reading the Bible together and we’re going to hang out again next week.

At karaoke. :)

The Craziest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Yesterday, I did THE craziest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Those who have known me long enough to object – talk in code, it’s a family show ;)

And YES I will tell you what I did. NO i will NOT do it now. :)

But when i tell you it was the craziest thing I’ve ever done, I need you to understand some context:

once I decided, at age 19, to go to india. and a month later, I did.

twice, i shaved my head. once all the way to a buzz cut, once to a faux hawk.

more than I can count, i’ve decided to tresspass, often at the beach, sometimes during AWFUL STORMS that almost blow the car off the road.

until grampa forbade me, i picked up hitchhikers.

i spent 40 days fasting (as in not eating), even though I knew i had struggled with disordered eating in the past.

i have a tattoo on my ring finger. But Im not married.

as a child, i’ve counted tens of thousands of dollars of drug money on my relative’s kitchen counter. (i really was raised differently than you were) and carried bricks of illegal things to be taken to do illegal things.

i’ve gone on tour with the 5 rowdiest, most ridiculous band brothers i know.

i’ve sat in the hospital next to my dying parents (separate times, both miraculously healed) and made life-and-death decisions.

i put most of my dirty laundry on the interweb for the world to see.

i chose to spend three years of my adult life in a job that, when it COULD pay me, still left  me solidly under the poverty line.

i applied to and started grad school without consultation of anything but the :feeling” i was supposed to.

i’ve colored my hair every color in the rainbow. except green. even on a list of crazy, that’s just crazy talk. ;)

and well, we’re not going to talk about parties in college.

 

but all of that, still not the craziest thing I’ve ever done.

In fact, most of it wasn’t  even in the last three years. I’ve clearly calmed down a little. Oh but yesterday…..

 

Anyway, clearly some of my above choices (even though not all were choices) were not right. But I think some of them absolutely were. I absolutely needed to go to India. It was one of the singular most shaping experiences of my life. I was forever changed for good. Some of the others, too.

 

So if you are ever considering doing something crazy, I have the following advice:

 

Doing something crazy because it is the weirdest, sexiest, or most exciting thing is the WRONG reason to do something. It’s probably selfish and chances are, on some level, you’re likely to regret it later.

 

But if you feel like you really need to do something,

except that thing, it’s counter-intuitive, and painful, and scary and new and against everything you’ve ever known, if it puts you in a vulnerable place and the outcome is RISKY, it has the potential to change EVERYTHING….I encourage you to consider if all of that is just a side effect of the fact that God is calling you to it.

 

Because all of that, the counter-intuitive, the painful, scary,new, against everything you’ve ever known, the vulnerability and risk, the ability to change everything,

THAT sounds a lot like Jesus. And God’s plan for him, through him, for us.

People Change

a “just a thought” post.

looking in the mirror just now, i felt comfortable. I wondered if maybe i’d lost weight, maybe the tan or the outfit or maybe….. maybe I’m just different.

 

I think i’ve done an okay job on this blog of chronicling the ups and downs of surviving disordered eating and skewed body image. Tell me if i haven’t. But for the last year or so, I’ve just been MOSTLY happy with myself.  Even my “not that chubby” series culminated with: I’m happy with myself.

 

There are some of us who believe people do not change. I used to think that. There are some that think you have to CHOOSE to change. I used to think that too.

 

So I’d love to say that either I’ve always been this way, somewhere, deep down. But that would be a lie. And I’d love to say that I just chose once and kept choosing to love truth more than my perception of it. But, that’s not really how love works, is it?

 

I find more and more that instead of a bright light, a moment of revelation (although, as Paul and his donkey would affirm, those happen), love often happens as a whisper that says, “Hi, I am here, would you like to see me?” And most often, I say no. I would not like to see love. I’d like to see traffic or heartache or hunger but not love. Sure COGNITIVELY i’d choose love. But when I “snap” at someone or fall into despair, my actions are choosing to see circumstances, not love.

 

Love, though, is of all things, first patient. (oh and I am, of all things, often first IMpatient.) And love keeps whispering. And somehow, as I say “yes” more and more, as love convinces me, wears down my defenses with comfort and joy and kindness and always rejoicing, i find the film falling from my eyes.

 

Until FINALLY, love doesn’t have to whisper from across the room. Love knocks on the door of my heart and I am over-the-moon. I smile brightly, “LOVE! I’m so glad you’re here.” And love comes in.

 

and with love in my heart, i look back at all the times I’ve stomped on him, and I become ashamed. I want to turn away, I don’t want him to see me so close, to know just…ALL of me. And with this knowledge, this perfect knowledge of my past and my future, with power to do anything with me, what does love do?

 

Love….loves. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. And When he does, I, now fearless, run back.

 

So…I think people do change.

 

Love changes them.

i found love in the middle of a textile while making a gift. how kind of love to remind me, he's everywhere.