Dear Jesus, Thank you for…

October 29, 2008

warm blankets to sleep under
hot water for showers
getting to smell all girly
the ability to smell
shoes without holes in the soles
indoor plumbing
eye glasses
I can read
taking my breath away with the colour of fall leaves
healthy skin
C.S. Lewis
friends that see me. clearly.
friends that let me see them. clearly.
apples/apple cider/apple cider ale/apple butter/apple pie
cool/cold weather
surprise paying singing gigs
words, like “gig” that make me laugh…or giggle


My niece

October 28, 2008

My sister and I were walking and doing some praying. We asked the Holy Spirit to show us strongholds and bondage in our lives that we couldn’t see. At that moment, we came across a penny sitting straight up on it’s side, defying gravity. I have a picture on my phone if you don’t believe me. We took it as His way of saying, “I am here to do the impossible.” He likes doing the impossible. It’s part of His charm.

We spent the next 40 minutes doing some serious listening and responding and fleshing out. It was the kind of talking that you only do with a few people in your life. At one point, my sister was speaking into my life about relational strongholds, encouraging that the questions for which I think I need answers are just surface issues. The real questions are deeper and can only be addressed by the One who made my heart. She was so intensely interested that her tone of voice was kind, but pointed. My two year old niece said, “Mommie! Don’t talk that way to my aunt Cheryl!” We reassured her that Mommy wasn’t mad, but that we were just talking about important things and that we love each other.

Two things amazed me. There is so much that we hold in our hearts that we can’t see until God reveals it. And when it’s revealed, there is only one thing we can do – give it to Him so He can sort it all out. Funny how we try to fix our hearts when we can’t even grasp the full extent of them.

But I was also overwhelmed with how God gave little Emmy such a tender heart towards those who are hurting, and a heart that wants to protect. She’s two and she already hears hurt in people and engages that hurt. Without any need to self-protect, she offered her concern.

Why can’t we all be two again!

Smells like team spirit

October 28, 2008

My bro-in-law had a birthday party. After he blew out the candles, I commented to one other the other celebrators that I love the smell of candles that have just been blown out. I think they should make a scented candle that smells like it’s just been blown out. Here is a list of things that probably won’t make the Yankee list, but would be rad to have in candle form.

Garlic sautéing in olive oil
Gasoline/nail polish/that cool marker that smells good
Tomato Bisque
Baby hair after its been shampooed
Acorns smashed on the sidewalk at the end of fall (it DOES have a smell)

Tonight at dinner, my mom said…

October 25, 2008

“I like pig pork but I don’t like beef pork.”

My boyfriend says…

October 24, 2008

Work hard, then, on the disappointment or anticlimax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman. The Enemy allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing. The Enemy takes this risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His “free” lovers and servants—”sons” is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals. Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affections and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to “do it on their own”. And there lies our opportunity. But also, remember, there lies our danger. If once they get through this initial dryness successfully, they become much less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt.

from The Scewtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Where else could I be?

October 16, 2008

Two years ago today, I left my job…wait, let me back up. Two summers ago, I was burned out and completely empty inside. I ran away to the mountains, my escape of choice, to be with Jesus. I spent most of my time sitting under the mist of a waterfall or reading in a cold creek. There were few thoughts in my head, just the silence of mental and emotional exhaustion. God called me to fast that weekend, but we agreed that mocha frapps were still fasting. So when I wasn’t in my creek, I was journaling in a coffee house. To this day I can’t remember what I wrote to Him. Most of that weekend is a blur now. I just remember Him calling me there and His quiet presence with me. But He did say something as I scribbled my chaotic and weary thoughts.

I would rather you misstep in faith than stand still in fear.”

A few months later, I decided to leave my job, one at which I was very good, and jump into the great unknown. People thought I was crazy. I should only leave on job when I had a back up. But I felt peace. The morning I went to turn in my notice, I asked God to stop me if I was being impulsive or if there was rebellion in my heart. He just asked, “When have you been happiest this year?” “With you,” I said.

You get me either way.”

So two years ago today, I served my final day at the only life I’d known as an adult. Looking back, I thought God would provide a new career within a couple weeks, thus showing the world that I was in His will. He didn’t. That was one of the first idols He was destroying in my life – the need for people to affirm my relationship with Him. What God had in mind was two years, so far, of stripping me of my demand for respect, my need to feel competent, and my proclivity to find my worth in what I do. He also had plans to teach me that I trust in Him, not in the ways I think He will provide. I can sleep tonight because He promised to care for me, not because I have a check coming from a wedding the upcoming weekend. Weddings get cancelled.

About the time I thought He and I were coming to an understanding and that I was finally over my idols, He took it to another level. You see, I had even become prideful in the way I was “surrendered” to His correction. So He took away my ability to respond to Him.

He left me collapsed, unable to offer up my list of spiritual resolves. Dirty, empty, broken and without defense, I was prostrate before Him – and not the pious prostrate. Lifeless, unable to reach out to Him, left only to let Him hold me. Destitute.

He sat there with me for longer than I would have chosen. Since then He has lifted my head and touched my tear blurred eyes. I’m still in no condition to sprint, but I feel air in my lungs again.

I was asked by my heart friend, “If you knew then what you know now, would you have left your job?”

That’s one of those impossible questions to answer. There’s a reason He doesn’t show us what is coming. We would run screaming in the opposite direction. And I feel I’m a different person now. But here’s the center of my truth. He was there. It was His hand that did this to me. One morning, in the midst of my deepest groaning, He showed me His hands tossing me back and forth and He asked, “Will you let me do this?” Where else would I go? How can I say no?

I can’t say that the hardest times were also the sweetest. They weren’t sweet. They were lonely. They were dark. There was no end in sight. There have been more than a few moments of doubt. Ruthless questions, “Are you doing this to yourself?” “Is your life just one bad decision after another?” “You know people think you’re out of your mind?” Sometimes I can go exactly where He is leading me, and it can be a great big disaster, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t what He wanted. And while He hasn’t chosen to end this season, He is always letting me know that He is with me, even if it’s just a fist gripping determination to proclaim what I know He has promised – to carry me through it, brutally but deliberately tossing me between His purposeful hands.

October 9, 2008

Jesus is a Friend of Mine