Tuesday, March 18, 2008


They sat in row H.
Both in black, her red scarf matched the red stripes of his tie.
They looked comfortably married, like typical Opera patrons. 
Nearly all patron wives wear black dresses and bright scarves.
Nearly all patron husbands wear a tie and pin stripped pants. 
What would it be like to spend such evenings, dining on rooftops and drinking decaf coffee together? 

I sat in row G, very close to the orchestra. With goose bumps, I listened to soaring music with Alina and Crystal. In one song, love is found. In the next, the star crossed lovers are threatened with death or jealousy. In the next, one dies needlessly, but all for the dramatic sake of temporary passion. The lovers die for each other without ever realizing what it means to love for a lifetime. 

I am sure the thrill of such dangerous romance would cause me to soar. But honestly, I would prefer a love story not absolved in untimely death. The quiet daily life of building dreams together, following God in the big and small moments... these are all qualities I would sing in French about. 

In reference to the lovers in the Opera Lakme-
Me: "When did they ever have time to discuss newly wed budgets? Or what brand of microwave popcorn is preferred?"

Crystal: "If the gods want them to be together, I am sure they already like the same brand." 

Birthday Song: February 18

You unravel me.
I only hope my eyes are one year wiser, my song one year sweeter.
For 21 years of breathing Your grace are matchless to how much You deserve.
After a tough time of searching, blaring sirens and shifting-
Show me the deep desires of my heart
The ones You planted there
To yield in due season
Hear Your voice
Never withering

To know Your love
Always better then what I remember

May this year be a time of refuge under Your wings
Fulfillment, restoration, re-connections, vibrant community, discipline, direction and fight
Where will I be at 22?
I hardly dare to dream
But Your hope is around the corner 
God-realities ready to take FLIGHT

I know You heal the broken things, because I no longer mourn them.
They are just hallow, a part of my story.

May this be a year of redemption.

I never want to plateau and be "just fine." 
I don't want to be afraid of conflict, risk or preparation.

May this be a year of simplicity.
Un-locked beauty.

Open Sky Communion

The quiet at the ranch was as wide as sky. I could hear my notebook scratching against my jeans as I walked down the hill. The crunch of November grass was deafening. Such silence is a rare treasure. 

“What do you have for me? What song will rise up in me?” I questioned the blue. 

Perhaps the words I will someday speak will be a healing force. Or maybe their power will be formed in contemplative silence. As I sat on the hillcrest, hundreds of prickly little thorns poked through my rough-and-tough pants and death gripped my shoelaces. After noticing this, I bumped into a tendency of mine. I have a habit of innocently ignoring myself. In my desires to open my embrace and to learn, listen, and digest culture, I have developed a pattern of losing myself. I get excited about someone else’s vision and try to picture myself in the middle of their dreams. Sometimes, I try very hard to fit into someone else’s life.

I tried one time to picture myself in the high heels of an Oklahoma pastor’s wife. There I was, gallantly greeting each old congregation member every Sunday, week in and week out. But sadly, many of the old religious ways and polite church community curiosities do not wage war on the darkness pervading the little forgotten towns. 

Depression, apathy, and wasted dreams run rampant. Such places are a mission field in their own right, struggling to move forward as the world changes. I should never go in as a missionary lightly, unaware of what battles could be stirred up, even in a conservative and religious town. 

Then I wanted the society of a New England housewife, a low-hanging fruit of adoration. There I was, running the race to have the greatest garden, best clam chowder recipe, and most volunteer hours at church. Tea parties and social circles were the name of the game. But soon, the possibility of running in those circles for as long as I had to draw breath began to lose its luster. Give me the freedom to think and to move, to wander the mountains, and not have to pretend I am someone else. Then maybe I will finally find my place. 

I lay back on the hill to ponder the horizon. That color of blue cannot be found in the city. The daylight expanse stretched endlessly. With wounded pride, I found Him there. In the very work of His hands was where the true life of the universe stood. I knew I wanted God’s life breath to intervene. “What do You dream for me?” I silently wondered. Perhaps I haven’t heard because I haven’t really listened for whom I am. I sometimes feel unworthy to approach Him with my heart’s emptiness. 

Then I was called back to the campfire to join my group of friends. With them I sat dreaming of the future, next steps to be taken, and upcoming holidays. The endless silence of the ranch was slowly broken by familiar smiles and joking. Then Chris opened his beat-up guitar case and tuned the strings to a perfect outdoor pitch. He sang a song we all remembered, the one with a melody that has the ability to fill any amount of space, even the infinite atmosphere. After awhile, Preston rummaged through his bag and brought out a water bottle of grape juice and a zip lock bag of crackers. There, with no church organ or ritual garments, a stone was set up as a communion table and the Saturday afternoon air became sacred. 

An act of open sky communion inspired new freedom in me. For one moment, time stopped, and all that I could think about was God’s faithfulness. I was done with championing other people’s God dreams. Small hope poked a hole through the numb haze I had been walking in. I opened the door for His penmanship to freely compose my life story again. This slight inward adjustment made all of the difference. I felt a new fierceness to battle fear. The grape juice tasted sweeter in the mountain air and the precious cracker more somber as I stood there, not even hemmed in by clouds. 

What infinite possibilities His blood has bought for me. They are as wide as sky, and as grounding as earth. Silence is no longer a burden and waiting is not a practice to be feared. My hope is found in the ancient sustenance that has preserved His Bride for generations. My strength is found in the unexpected moments of His presence interrupting daily routine, but only when I am sensitive enough to find Him on a hill or in my kitchen. Such an unconventional communion moment only solidified the covenant that makes me who I am in Christ. Such a moment finally cut through confusion and hurt, preparing my eyes to see His open sky in my life. 

Anywhere You Are

From house church one Thursday night:

One moment is not enough to hold You
You call me to see life from Your perspective
Time is not fit for our love
Only forever can hold You

Sometimes I struggle with how to love You for a lifetime
A paradox when time is not enough
My heart waits in eternity
Catching the song of longing the remnant sings

My inadequacies in reaching out to others comes to the forefront
Because spending forever with You means people too
Gouge the layers of self: satisfaction, indulgence and stipulation

Any where You are
Is where You will find me
Anything You ask
Nothing is too much
Until my body finally leaves
My heart will wait in eternity

Eternity is:
just one breath away
starting now
continued moments with the King

I must position myself to know 
God will fulfill what He has laid on my heart
There is reality. And there is Your truth.
Perhaps life is a process of reaching for what is right in front of me.
I either believe He will come through or go crazy. 

You push me to live through all life seasons
Running to You means finding eternity in every moment
I belong to You
You fight for my future

I don't have to do that on my own anymore.