Sep 29, 2009

shedding soiled habits, or trying to.

for the past couple weeks i have been listening to christmas piano melodies on pandora. i realize that fall has only just begun and i should not rush the looming presence of the blistering cold of winter, and i also recognize that listening to instrumental music is generally designated for those robed in polyester and loafers rather than a girl in blue jeans and chuck taylor's. i cannot deny the fact that i genuinely enjoy this culturally unappreciated genre of music. but lying just beneath the surface of this musical delight roars a longing to hear the tangible sound of silence; and christmas music has the magical ability to quiet one's soul.

as i sit in caribou, cozily snuggled next to the glowing fireplace, the lids of my eyes slowly and heavily blanket my vision like that of a drawing curtain. my plate of demands is pouring over the edge and the one thing that i long to do is forfeit the battle that i've appropriately named, "the war of busybri" and give in to the delicious escape of napping. oh how lovely it would be to doze off right here at caribou and tell my homework and photography work to relax right along with me. but this war has been won before it even began with its ruthless educational debt bullets shredding my flesh, seizing my free time, and wiping out the potential of a good night's sleep. how do i always seem end up in this place?

and it is this place that i thought i left behind - for good. when i was in california i spent 2 years informally counseled by a remarkable pastor at my church. during this time i discovered that i am an extremist. it's not something that i'm proud of, but it's the reality of my weakness. by tagging myself as an extremist what i mean is that i'm an either all or nothing kind of girl. rarely to i dwell in the comfortably positioned gray area of life. i began to actually model a life of balance as i learned to trust in the provision of christ while carrying out my own responsibilities. it was gorgeous and extremely restful. i'm not sure how i left this lesson learned in california? in no time at all i reverted back to my old ways of stretching myself like a brittle rubber band. i do not live this way intentionally, it sort of sneaks up on me. i've mentioned it in posts back, but my mom has always said that i dive off the deep end. once again i'm proving her right. once again i must grab the reigns of my life and yank them with all of my strength to halt this runaway carriage of busyness. and once again i must reposition myself at the feet of jesus and confess my broken attempts to trust in him.

i suppose i must give myself a small dose of credit. if this were two or three years ago i would not even recognize that i've created a mud pit of exhaustion. i'd carry on for the rest of my days working 12+ hours a day and sleeping on the weekends. but i am two years older now; that's two years of maturity, two years of wisdom, and two years of growth. it would be so much easier to continue in my old ways, yet the desire to trust in the lord and dare to believe that life is meant to be lived in restful assurance in the provisions of christ overpowers the temptation to do things my way. this is what henri blackaby would call a "crisis of belief". i want to choose christ. and so i am going to rest. tonight i completed my prayer closet; a sacred space where i can draw away and spend time in the presence of the holy spirit. there remains only 2 more wedding gigs in my schedule, and my boss at caribout is well aware of my present state of (in)sanity and suggested that i cut back on hours. taking her advise and listening to the gentle warning signs of the holy spirit i will be putting in less hours of controlling my life so that i can devote more time to the things that i believe god has called me to; namely intercession and school... i'll let you know how this mess is redeemed.

Sep 22, 2009

autumn's ushering of cupid's flirty truffles

crunchy leaves floating gently from the aging hands that once held them so near. helios settles deeper into his equinox leather arm chair and casts a softer hue over his world below. the umbrella of night lengthens her midnight blanket, offering the frazzled race a few extra slumbering dreams. summer has officially bid his own company goodbye and ushered in the romantic presence of autumn. my very dear friend says fall sets within her a mood, a desire, to fall in love. and in her brief moment of authentic exposure, i was forced to take a peek into my own autumn inspired yearnings.

i can see where my friend is coming from. the season carries with it a colorful romanticism that draws people together. it's similar to the christmas season actually. during the holiday season everyone's spirits seem be injected by an i.v. of sentimentality. slipping on the icy city sidewalks fails miserably to taint the white blankety goodness of your day. if it were march and you were to get your feet caught up in the evidence of sub-zero rain, you'd curse the gods who created the forsaken land in which you dwell. but it's not march, it's christmas; so instead you send yourself sliding down the entirety of the urban mountain and drop a few coins in the army's red bucket of salvation all the while whistling melodies of silver bells. and so, introspectively i crawled in search of the hidden secrets that only seem to surface with the kaleidoscope of maple leaves.

with a headlamp securely fastened and a chisel to carve through the cobwebs that buried the intimacies of my heart, i went looking within my soul. this search of mine had intertwined in it's purpose, a well defined hope; and that hope was that i too may behold the beautiful desire to fall in love, but with the surprising twist that it be wrapped safely secured for another season. drawing up the sharpened pick i cracked through the first layer of the cupid's box of flirty truffles. to my utter confusion, the very first jewel i found was a sloppy melted pile of mystery confections. i couldn't discern it's shape, it's form, or the character of the thing; but i could tell that nailed beside it was a plaque that appeared to be the potential title of its name. however the letters i could not read.

to understand this mess i would have to stand in the presence of the great unknown, and quite frankly i didn't have that kind of time - i brushed the dust off the glowing lamp atop my head and trekked further. there were cherry-filled cordials that beckoned my attention by oozing charmful whispers, but i didn't bother, once the cherry spills out all that remains is a slimy empty shell. a little further i came across chocolate drenched raisins rampantly kicking like popping corn kernels, but i'm not interested in the temporary satisfaction of raisins. after this i was plowed over by the invading presence of chocolate turtles. i felt sick just looking at them so i wasted no time over their meaningless offerings. finally, after winnowing through most of cupid's flowery arrows i came to something familiar, something known. slowing my pace and focusing my gaze what i felt was the same mysterious configuration i had tasted in the beginning of my journey. only this time there was something subtly different. the overall structure didn't change, the appearance was untouched, and the blushing intrigue i received upon our initial introduction remained. now squinting and leaning in for a closer look, the difference was disclosed! the title plaque - i could read it! in humble letters this mound of secrecy spelled its autograph - "tomorrow". and with quiet satisfaction i bowed at its base and delightfully acknowledged the identity of the confection - which i am certain, by the way, is filled with peanut buttery deliciousness.

the fact of the matter is i am not ready for love. aside from the one incredibly handsome regular that allures my attention each morning at caribou, my vision is fixed on the season of education i am in and the path of spiritual formation i am walking. "tomorrow" is precisely what i was hoping i would discover. "tomorrow" is what i need. and with the promise of "tomorrow" i walk out the door and kick up the freshly fallen leaves that carpet my doorstep, and with a smile across my face i enter into the today with a rich contentment and delight in the adventures that are bestowed upon the lives of the independents.

Sep 20, 2009

a distraction from homework...

a handful of potpourri whatever's...

1.) i have a legitimate addiction to peanut butter. no joke. in 6 short days i polished off two jars of smuckers. friends, that is 5,880 calories of oily peanut creaminess swirling in my tummy. is there such a thing as peanut butters anonymous? if not, perhaps i should organize one.

2.) waiting to attend college until my later 20's is the greatest order christ has ordained in my life. i'm undeniably the grandmother on campus, but i'm also one of the few who has chosen my classes based on desire rather than force.

3.) as the leaves in minnesota begin to change their wardrobe my heart grows painfully sad at the bitter ugliness that follows close behind. it's only september and i've already accumulated a serious cabin fever that only the month of february can provide. i really do hate winter (except for december... but i'm a flaming lover of christmas).

4.) speaking boldly doesn't seem nearly as fearful as it once did. why? because i now know the beauty that is the driving force of it's language, and that is grace. look out world, the breastplate of self-confidence has a shiny new coat of twinkly courage.

5.) the pursuit of spiritual formation is the path that i'm walking and with each passing day this journey developes into a colorful bouquet of anticipation. and this is why i articulate my joy and gratitude in being an elder within the university.

7.) my "landlord, landlady, and land-little-lucy" are postively amazing. 

8.) i love not owning a television.

9.) god is my provider. i am not... if you know me at all, this is the greatest revelation i could possibly embrace. i'm humbled beyond measure.

Sep 17, 2009

polka dotted contemplations...

a forkful of natural chunky peanut butter, a little red wine to relax the soul, swirling smoke from a lilac inscent, lucy's barefeet pattering on the floor above, and the sun drenched autumn afternoon pouring in my windows. i take a break from my american literature readings to type out a few of the thoughts that linger and dance in my mind like the burning lilac inscent.

my life doesn't just cast a different hue, it poses an entirely new picture. i'm taking 15 units at bethel university and i've been bombarded with deeply thought provoking texts from authors like roger olson and paul eddy, as well as highly invigorating and inviting stories crafted together by the transcendentalists of the early 19th century. caribou coffee seeps into my pores (literally, every crevasse of my body and every strand of hair has accumulated a permanently new scent - coffee.) furthermore every spare hour of time that is not already consumed by class or homework is spent barreling through innumerable hours of processing work that pounds on the door of my photography business. lastly, my running adventures no longer kiss the pacific coast, and the brief stint of racing around cornfields already  is in the not so distant past. now i have the astheticly pleasing array of the minneapolis lakes to adorn each mile i pound out. yes, life is unquestionably different than what i have been used to and i'm learning how to adjust.

prior to moving away from california i assumed that the first few months would be the most challenging. i thought upon arriving to minnesota i would immediately enter into 12 weeks of painful drudgery and don a weighted, bleak trenchcoat of transitional depression. but those first dozen weeks were easy, somewhat exciting, and even a little sparkly. but now the glitter of moving has not only tarnished, its unveiled the ugly complexion buried beneath and i am left feeling the emotional turmoil that hangs on the coattails of all paramount life transitions. how does one handle this well? how do i learn every jewel of spiritual goodness that is intricitately hidden amongst the clutter of difficulty? and how do i do this when i am without the community of my darling california girlfriends?

patiently. that is how. i am a terrifyingly impatient woman. it's true. but i'm that of a circumstantial agog. moreover i am far too... what's the word... i dive off the deep end i guess is the best way to put it. i invisioned having all this time to help manage the bethel cross country team, find a youth ministry community to serve in, and mentor all the young women i'd be in school with. i had big plans to be sure of. but the reality is there is not a drop of spare time haning on the bucket of my schedule cistern. and so, i wait. maybe this is a season of life where i (do i dare presume?) focus on myself. perhaps this is a season of studying, learning, and growing in my faith through academic challenges. this season is a murky swamp of confusion, but that is due to the fact that i have replaced my intentinonal time of prayer for theology, literature, and creative writing material. it very well could be the discernment and rest i so desperatly yearn for will be found when i take just one moment to pause and reorrient myself towards the redemption of calvary. patiently, yes,that is absolutley how i am to journey forth from this upside down postion i put myself in.