Oh, the randomness...

Just my thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Once in a While

“But now a time has come when it is possible to look back on those years of turmoil and to describe, with more objectivity than was possible before, the place to which all of that struggle has brought me. I am still not free enough to let myself be held completely in the safe embrace of the Father. In many ways I am still moving toward the center. I am still like the prodigal: traveling, preparing speeches, anticipating how it will be when I finally reach my Father’s house. But I am, indeed, on my way home. I have left the distant country and come to feel the nearness of love. And so, I am ready now to share my story. There is some hope, some light, some consolation to be found in it.”
-Henri Nouwen

Once in a while, I find words that bring immense comfort and joy, either because they put into words something my heart has longed to express or because I feel understood, because someone else has gone through the same thing I have.

This quote from Nouwen's book (The Return of the Prodigal Son) is one of the latter half: it's a statement in which I find myself, and in which I recognize a kindred soul.

May the journey continue...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Freedom to Be

What does this mean? Are we truly free? I have lived overseas in a country where we did not the freedoms we have in the US. I’ve traveled to countries and looked at girls my same age (9 at the time) stuck in that sweat shop making rugs for the rest of their lives. Rugs my friends and family and I will buy from big stores who charge lots and pay the workers little. These girls were not free to be their full selves, to live to their full potential as human beings.

My roommate was not free to be in her marriage. Her husband emotionally beat her down. Last night I got the new Keith Urban CD (amazing!) and played the song ‘Stupid Boy’ for her. I’m not putting all this on her husband, but this song resonated with her. And my hunch is that it resonates with many women out there who have male figures in their life who have beat them down. Emotionally. The pain one feels when their uniqueness is told it’s not enough. It’s not good enough. It will never be enough.

Many people live in captivity. For some, it’s physical. They aren’t fully allowed to be who they are. Women are forced to become secondary objects, not own property, not speak, not teach. They aren’t free to be.

For others, it’s an emotional captivity. They aren’t free to be because somehow that one person still has power over them. Or they are tormented with thoughts of worthlessness, despair, hopelessness, sadness, guilt. Or that person in their life, like the male figure in 'Stupid Boy' still tells them they aren't enough, they aren't worthy, they can never be free to be themselves, because being themself isn't worthy.

But we can be free.

I am proof of that. I’ve broken free from emotional captivity. Finally, I have been given the chance (translate that as I was forced/pushed into it by life circumstances!) to step out truly on my own. No one to be overly dependent on. No one to remind me I am smart, fun, loveable, etc. No one to hold my hand through it all. It’s time for me to be an adult, to step out, to fully accept love from my friends and be able to offer my hand to them when I need them to walk beside me. To lean on them when I feel despair. Not to expect it or to depend on it, but to ask for it, and accept it.

You know how I broke free?


Love wins.

God’s love.

He never quit chasing me and showing me I am enough.

Be enough. Today, you are enough. You are free to be.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World Water Day

That's today, folks. Are you doing your part? Am I?

I have a leaky faucet in my bathtub at home. I've been really hesitant to fix it because it's dang expensive.

But to me, it's now more than just the money. The fact that I carelessly let water go to waste each and every day, each minute, each second...while people in over countries don't even HAVE a chance for clean water...well, it's sickening.

And, last time I got my water bill (which is high for my area, because of this leak), I broke it down and I think it was like $1.50 a day. To think, I could be giving someone else a $1.50 a day, and providing them with fresh water. Instead, mine runs down the drain, where no one will be saved by taking a sip.

Do your part. Make a difference. I'm trying to do mine - I'm fixing the leak, donating money to help dig wells in Africa, and praying for the people around the world in need.

You can pray, too. There are so many ways we can be involved. Find the one that ignites your heart, and go after it full force.

Cool websites to check out for World Water Day:

Monday, March 19, 2007

So cool.

Life is so stinkin' cool. Which means that God is so cool because he designed this world, our lives, the rhythm and flow of this place.

Anyways, I arrive at work today to find that one of my friends who recently moved far away is now part of an online community to tell the truth about the TNIV Bible. And it's great to see people rallying together to help spread the word about what is truth about the TNIV, but even more touching is that personally, it feels good to have people who 'get it', and who are part of the bigger mission. (see the link to the right for TNIV Truth).

I am lucky to work on the TNIV as my job, but it is certainly also a personal mission. I want to follow after Jesus as though He is all that matters in this life. But sometimes it's hard to do when God's Word doesn't make sense. When archaic language gets in the way. When I read the Bible and don't see 'myself' in the text. But, the TNIV changed all that for me. God's Word is alive again, and I find myself digging in and wanting to soak it all up, wanting it to fill me. I haven't ever had that with any other Bible I've read.

So, I just think it's great how things come full circle. How my friend still gets to be involved with one of his big passions. How people around the globe are coming together to promote truth.

And how it's 8am Monday morning and unlike most of the general population, I am truly excited and glad to be sitting here at this desk.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Today's Thoughts

"He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside." Job 23:10-11

Well, I get into work today and my TNIV verse of the day is the one above. How timely!

First, I certainly am not claiming any sort of life situations near to what Job experienced! But I am saying I find this verse so encouraging, no matter what the situation. Sometimes, life can get hard. We go through big trials (financially, spiritually, physically, or emotionally). It can seem that there is no end in sight. But don't forget, that in the midst of Job's darkest hours, he still believed in God's goodness, and in how God knew Job's heart and that he would come out the other side, refined by the fires. If you're currently going through a trial, count in all joy, my friends, because you have a great opportunity to grow closer to the heart of God. And you will be refined by the fire.

Sometimes, though, it's the little things. It's the little fight with the roommate, friend, spouse or colleague that leaves us annoyed or resentful. Or it's the small bumps in the road: a mid-term here, a presentation there, a night of tossing and turning and very little sleep. It's the hiccup in the bank account, the house not selling, the questioning of a job change decision. (My poor friend is dealing all three of those things all at once!) And we have a choice in how we respond to the little things. We can let them annoy us, change our attitude, how we treat others....or we can again, choose to believe that God knows our heart and he wants to refine us in all things. And that if we're diligent in the small things, we have a better chance of being diligent in the big things. How can I expect to have a good attitude and be joyful in big trials if I am not that way in the small ones?

So, I encourage you today, to look at trials of any sort as opportunities to grow closer to the heart of God.

Don't give up. He is with you. He sees your heart.