Hunger

I’ve consumed an entire batch of cookies in one sitting. Probably more than once. I used to stress bake, and that’s a bad habit for someone who loves cookies but wants to be healthy. I’d bake, eat, and feel guilty and gross. My stuffed stomach prevented me from eating anything else for the rest of the day, so I justified my actions.

We are the microwave generation. I want what I want, and I want it now. I want to have my cake, eat all of it, and not gain any weight. I’ve been conditioned to expect quick answers and quick fixes; I’m annoyed if the internet on my smart phone is too slow for me to Wikipedia the backstory of Boba Fett in the middle of a conversation with a friend. I am entitled to instantly receive whatever I want.

The world caters to our inner tantrumming toddler. I took a sick day last week. If I wanted to, I could order any food, convince someone to Netflix and chill, and share every thought with the entire world, all without leaving my couch.

I don’t have the romantic relationship I want. But, at least I can go on dates with guys from the internet who think I’m cute for a quick fix of validation. I don’t have the friendships I crave. But, I can stalk “friends” online to feel connected and while projecting a perfect persona to impress them. I can numb anxiety, avoid pain, and fake interconnectedness all with the touch of a button.

What does this do to our souls?

When I’m full of chocolate chip cookies, I’m not hungry for anything that will actually benefit my body. When all of my impulses are satisfied, at least on the surface level, I don’t dig deep into those longings and find what will satisfy my soul.

This results in a deep entanglement with temporal pleasures, microwave relationships, and easy, unfulfilling interactions. There is no room for true hunger or thirst.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Imagine standing in a room full of the purest, most refreshing water and finest foods, but you don’t even notice because you’re chugging syrupy beverages and chomping on fries.

God is with us. He is right here, and He will quench your deepest thirst and satiate your cravings. But, we need to be hungry. We need to be thirsty.

Maybe we need to put away the cookies, literally and metaphorically, and remember what it feels like to be hungry. We can be filled with substantive food.

As the season of Lent begins, let’s taste and see that the Lord is good. Let’s take the time to fast our quick fixes and lean into our deepest hungers. There is true fulfillment on the other side.
My prayer for Lent:
Lord, untangle my heart from the chains of lesser loves. Give me the strength, courage, and fortitude to face my hunger pangs without numbing the pain. In your matchless grace, provide me with your powerful joy. Create in me a thirst for justice and righteousness than can only be quenched by you. You are unendingly glorious, magnificently gentle, and so very loving. We are eternally grateful. Thank you.

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15 Goals for 2015

  1. Host dinner at least once a month.
  2. Clean my room every week.
  3. Found Big Picture Bakery and Café.
  4. Climb a mountain.
  5. Sing on a stage.
  6. Laugh every day.
  7. Take a dance class.
  8. Pursue relationships, even when I’m scared of getting hurt.
  9. Finish drawing the family portrait.
  10. Sew a dress.
  11. Master consistency.
  12. Avoid kissing frogs. (They don’t turn into princes.)
  13. Write and illustrate a children’s story.
  14. Revisit, reevaluate, and rewrite my mission, vision, purpose, and life goals every month.
  15. Embrace Luke 12:22-34: “And he said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. imageInstead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'”

Where I Am

Lord, teach me to be where I am
and not where I want to be
Teach me to love who I am
and not who I want to be

With the past behind and the future so bright
Let me stop in the now and remember my life
Not worry but rest in your love
and remember that you figured this out

Looking forward, looking forward, looking forward,
But today is yesterday’s tomorrow and soon it will be gone.
Did I use and cherish every minute?
Or did I purchase distraction with discomfort pawned?

Like getting braces when you’re twenty five
and you want to be pretty, not an adorable replication of your middle school self
The process is awkward and painful.
It will be worth it.

Lord, teach me to be where I am
and not where I want to be
Teach me to love who I am
and not who I want to be

 

Restlessness

Have you ever felt trapped in your own skin? You can’t get out, but it doesn’t fit. You want to hide; there’s nowhere to go. You’re sure that a great big Someone is having a great big laugh at the irony of it all, and you stubbornly bite your lip and keep trudging forward.

Something isn’t right. I see it in the scars on a preteen’s wrist and a fake laugh on his face. I smell it in cigarette-tinged baby clothes and alcohol on a child’s breath. I hear it in crashing trees and terrified whispers. I taste it as I bite my lip. I feel it in my bones.

This world, this place, cannot be my home.

Every once in a while, I’ll sense home. It’s like a resounding chord from a baby grand piano being played by someone you love. Or, maybe it’s like the scent of fresh baked bread.

Home is where your heart can rest. You are loved, safe, and known. Glimpses of eternity.

I keep running, searching. Trying to leave my skin behind. Trying to reconcile who I will be and who I am; those I love with who they can’t be. Forcing pieces where they don’t belong and damaging the puzzle.

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you”*

My soul sings the song of the One who is faithful. My heart sings along when my mind is unable.

In the confusion and chaos and pain, my hope is found.
His love remains.

* Psalm 139:7-12

**I’ve been listening to Andrew Peterson’s song “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone” constantly for about a month. Any similarities are not coincidental, but any plagiarism is accidental.

2014: Highlights

  • ringing in 2014 in Hawaii with dear friends
  • kayaking to the little island… and surviving the adventure/fiasco
  • realizing that, even though we are opposites, Sarah is the best person in the world to be my sister
  • sledding in trash bags during the weeks of snow days
  • planking and dying with Kristen, but holding for four minutes
  • learning and loving my leading ladies
  • reading “50 reasons why I am a catch” in front of the SLW conference
  • experiencing Newsies on Broadway
  • riding roller coasters in a bridesmaids dress with Rachel in a wedding gown
  • growing with the coolest kittens, my #sisterwives
  • sitting on Kenisha’s rock and realizing that I can be forgiven, even when I really mess up
  • watching Crosstalk come to actualization
  • laughing and living with Gabby
  • baking, cooking, and hosting a Homecoming brunch with wonderful friends
  • processing, venting, and dreaming with Alicia
  • hiking Old Rag with Conrad, Mom, and Dad
  • finding closure that I thought would never come
  • brainstorming and planning for the future of my life and work
  • creating healthy habits
  • celebrating festive moments with my favorite Harrisonburg residents (Groundhog Day is not a Christmas movie)
  • singing Queen with Robert
  • Christmas-ing with the Winelands and Coads

October Eighteenth

on my floor alone on Saturday night
picked up my guitar and started to write
sitting, waiting, wishing
you are out there somewhere and I’m on your mind

october eighteenth, a typical day
but I dream what normal will be
when we both grab a blanket and a mug
and you sit on the couch with me

because I’ve been told you will be worth this waiting
not like I have much of a choice
but in the waiting I am praying
you are worth the wait. you have always been worth the wait.

I pray you dream and risk and fail
and stand in intoxicating grace
that your emboldened gaze locks on the author
and perfector and finisher of faith

you are worth the wait. you have always been worth the wait.

I pray you break for the hurting
and compassion inspires you to serve
I pray you grow in strength and purpose
and you speak living poetry of the Word

I pray you read great books
and taste the beauty of love
I pray you take a chance
and embrace thriving in enough

that you walk in humility and dance in joy
and that your fears falter in light
I pray for adventures and laughter and tears
and that you are praying for me tonight

My real life, digitized.