What I’m looking for.

I don’t really have much to say. It just felt like it was time to write.

This winter break has been unbelievable. Refreshing. I was getting burned out at the end of the semester. It almost felt like I was holding my breath. And then Jesus heroically breathed into me and everything was different. Colorful. Beautiful. Glorious.

I know that’s really ambiguous.

I’ve been listening to music and reading books and talking to people and all of it opens my heart a little more to the glory of the King. I understand a bit more what Bono is talking about when he says he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. He’s been everywhere and seen so much and even met Jesus who stole his shame and put a heartbeat in his chest, but still something wasn’t there. It’s not that Jesus isn’t enough. Oh God because he IS.

The problem is that creation is still eagerly waiting, groaning for the revelation of the Jesus Christ. He is coming back. And until then, we are still wound up in skin and bound to time. There is still an enemy roaming the earth whose sole purpose is to destroy us, make us forget the goodness of God, and keep secret our true identity as sons and daughters of Glory. We are walking in a world where we don’t belong and carrying the message of redemption to the world, all the while keeping our eyes fixed on the Great Reward.

Everything that we are looking for only comes momentarily for now. Those warm fuzzy moments where your heart is in the purest state of worship. Where everything is perfect. Like the earth before the breaking of the human heart.

You should go listen to Phil Wickham’s new album Heaven and Earth. It has crafted a new reality in me. I hope it will do the same for you.

Oh the glorious day when we arrive
And heaven’s gates are opened wide
All our fear and pain will fade away
When we see you face to face

Jesus has brought us here.

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Home for the Holidays

Even though it was only a week ago that I left Baton Rouge for the great journey home, it feels like forever ago. I love Louisiana. But I missed home. 

What I love about being home:
– bathing
– smell-good laundry detergent
– a pantry of food
– mom trying every Pioneer Woman recipe in the book
– candles (they are banned from the dorms. lame.)
– laying in my bed ALL day
–  books books books
–  dinner with my funny family

I don’t have to do anything. For a full 5 weeks, I have no tests. No homework. No projects. No essays. I am going to lay in my bed ALL day. Every day. I’m wringing this break for what it’s worth. I might get really chubby, but I will not being doing school. So all will be well. Except for maybe my cholesterol.

In other news, I have been diagnosed with a disease. It’s not life-threatening but no one knows if it’s treatable or not. It’s called I-can’t-finish-a-book-if-my-life-depends-on-it. I have been home ten days. I have legitimately started six books. I have thus far been unable to keep a single one in my hands. I don’t know how I got skipped on the ADD tests growing up. I have the attention span of a small goat.

Do any of you interwebs have a cure?

Radical Times

Over the course of two hours, God peeled another layer off my onion of a heart. The story might be a little long, but stick with me. I pray that it will encourage you and challenge you.

A friend gave me a gift card to Macaroni Grill, so I decided to treat Kelsey, one of my best friends, to dinner. It was raining like nobody’s business and I thought traffic might be bad so I decided to take the back roads. After winding for a while through the drenched streets of Baton Rouge, we reached a corner stoplight. I began to think that maybe we should’ve just gone the normal way cause this seemed to be taking a lot longer than I had anticipated.

“Do you think she needs a ride? We should give her a ride.” I had no clue what Kelsey was talking about. I turned and looked out the window and a short black woman was walking by, arms wrapped tight around herself in hopes of keeping dry in the downpour. Before I even had a chance to respond, Kelsey rolled down the window.

“Hey! Do you need a ride?”

“Yeah.” She hopped in the backseat and then began to tell us where we were going and why. Her truck was just around the corner and it had caught on fire earlier that day. She didn’t exactly know what to do, so Kelsey offered her phone. The woman had four kids that were waiting for her in Wendy’s. Turns out, she is from Texas and had just gotten into Baton Rouge this morning. Her aunt had died and so she was here for all of that. Then she received word that her grandmother (who lived to be a solid 103 years old!) had passed away. She had piled the kids into her aunt’s car to drive to Mississippi to deal with her grandmother. When she was sitting at a stop light, some college kids started screaming at her that her car was on fire.

So now she was stranded in Baton Rouge. No phone. No car. Walking in the rain to find some help.

She asked if we could drive her and her kids to Mississippi. Kelsey and I would have gladly done such a thing, but we have exams in the morning and couldn’t afford that much time. Kelsey offered to pay for a taxi to take her to Mississippi. The woman was so relieved her eyes started welling up with tears. Kelsey went in to the gas station and came back with a piece of paper that had the number to the taxi service and some money to get her where she needed to go.

The woman thanked Kelsey. She simply responded “it’s not me, it’s Jesus. He told me to pick you up.”

The woman said “I know. I was praying to God in the rain that He would send someone to help.”

Goosebumps shot down my spine.

We wished her luck on her journey and a Merry Christmas. The woman smiled and thanked us again. And Kelsey just went on like it was nothing. She gave like it was nothing. And loved like the stranger was her best friend. Seeing a 

I tell you this story, not to brag about how awesome Kelsey is or whatever (even though she is). But this night sparked a monumental change in my heart. To see what it means to live for Jesus and with Jesus in everyday life. 

I long to wake up every morning with the desperation in my chest that I may die to live and live to die. To wake up to the call to give generously, to love selflessly, to live radically, to worship fully. To count everything as loss compared to knowing Jesus and being known by him. To give my life away.

Quote of the Day

I am sitting in my dorm lobby watching the Saints game. After an unexpected undefeated season thus far, we are in overtime against the Redskins. There girls are watching. Weird girls. They said weird things.
 

Girl 2: They got an interjection!
Girl 1: I think it’s called an interception.
 

Girl 2: Why do their pants have to be so tight? 
 

Girl 3: I just want those refs to raise their hands.
(Referring to a completed field goal.)
 

Girl 1: My heart is pounding.
Girl 2: My thyroid is pounding.
Girl 3: My dad has thyroid.

Christmas every day?

Greetings Earthlings!

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I promise I sat down. I promise I looked at the screen and rooted around in my brain to find something to say. And then I couldn’t think of anything. So I gave up. Please don’t be disappointed in me. At least I try.

This morning, I was shaving my legs and thinking about the meaning of life when a Donald Miller quote came to my mind. We don’t really remember our lives. In fact, we remember a very small fraction of it. I didn’t put quotation marks around those because I don’t actually know the quote verbatim, but you get the gist. This caused me to think even more upon my life and shave faster. I only nicked my knees once. I often to go bed at night wondering what I actually did with my day. I don’t like that feeling. That time just kind of melted away.

So I decided to pick up the blog again, so to speak, and get crackin. Everyone has a desire to feel important, accomplished. To know that you DID something. And made a difference. I don’t know if I’m making much of a difference, but at the end of the day, I want to at least remember what I had for lunch.

That said, I have a story for you.

Next week is final exam week. And some of my professors were nice enough to give us tests the week beforehand (this week). On Tuesday morning, I sat down and was about to start studying for my upcoming math test on Wednesday morning. All the tests are taken online in a computer lab, so you have to go online and schedule them to reserve a computer. I went to double-check what time I had scheduled my test for Wednesday and to my utter surprise, I had actually scheduled it for an hour ago. I missed my test. I checked to see if there were any spots open on Wednesday I could snatch up. Nothing. Everything was full.

My stomach flipped out and my mind went crazy.

I have so much to do. Why didn’t I realize earlier how much I had to do? Why didn’t I start sooner?! Oh no! I’m not going to be able to finish! I’m going to fail my tests. And then fail my classes. And lose my scholarship. And I’ll have to go home and be a waitress. Maybe Harbor Docks is hiring. My friends are going to make fun of me. Strangers will call me a bum. My parents will be so disappointed.

I broke down. Cried. For a while. I hadn’t talked to God for a while and I put this stress upon myself. I couldn’t ask him for help. I didn’t deserve it. I continued to go through my day, angry and sad and worried.

Later that night, I was studying with some friends and Claire suggested that I check the schedule again. I didn’t want to. What was the use? There was no room at the inn. That might not be an appropriate use of that popular bible quote, but whatever. Despite my hopelessness, I checked the schedule again.

There was one spot open on Wednesday morning. No freaking way.

I had a second chance! I immediately got crackin on the studying. I hadn’t even studied for it because I thought I wasn’t going to be able to take it. I was up til 430 in the morning, but I got it done. Approximately half-way through the night, it hit me. God got me that slot. I didn’t even ask Him. He just did it.

Oh my God.

I cried again. I couldn’t believe He would do something like that. I hadn’t spent time with Him in three weeks. I was mad that I hadn’t heard from Him in so long. I didn’t deserve something nice. I deserved a kick in the pants and a letter from the university telling me to get the heck out of Louisiana.

But God didn’t care what I actually deserved. It didn’t matter what I deserved. Jesus took that hit for me.

He gave me a gift. A really good one. He is ALWAYS giving good gifts. 24/7. And I mean the kind of gifts that tell you that He knows you like the back of His hand and He sees you in your suffering and He loves you exactly for who you are. And that no matter how often Satan tries to rob you of your joy and sweet talk you into thinking that you can’t ask God for anything because you don’t deserve it, that you are the apple of His eye.

He is always giving good, life-changing gifts. We just need to keep our eyes peeled and prepare to get our socks blown off.