Rustling Leaves

  • “Rustling Leaves” is the title of my blog. And also the title of my random ranting posts which I believe do not always have to be on Fridays, unlike Randy Bohlender.
  • I gave Ole’ Blue, my faithful Blue Sunburst Johnson guitar to a beloved member of my KC family, not without great mourning. That guitar is soaked in tears…. and probably snot. Sorry Katie. Upon first inspection of my new guitar (A Pine Seagull) my thoughts went like this:
    • It is not blue (Down note).
    • There is a bird in flight on the top (Def a happy note)
    • There is no buzzing when I strum (a REAL happy note)
    • ‘Oh my gosh I ‘m not as bad of a guitar player as I thought…. a lot of it was due to the guitar….’
  • This leads me to missing Danika. Poor, poor Danika has suffered my guitar playing more than anyone, and convinced me that it moves the Lord.
  • This leads me to missing coffee. This city leaves me feeling besieged: there is ONE good coffee shop which is a good 20 minute drive away. Though my french press is with me the grinder is in Missouri & I don’t know how to make it in a drip – pot. Consider the habit forcibly kicked.
  • My father ordered me to sell my Geo as soon as possible “if it even makes it to Virginia.” Well that faithful little Choncho made it here great & now that I’m looking to sell it & make a more reliable purchase…. well yeah, I still want a Subaru. Little girls are allowed to dream
  • The 5 year old belonging to the family that I live with has declared me family. After a week and a half. Either I’m just that lovable or she needs some boundaries lessons.
  • My sister sends me messages that make me burst into tears at least once a day. Pray for grace for her & Joshua as they try to move forward with their wedding planning.
  • Leaving my mattress behind means I’m back in a normal sized bed & own no normal sized sheets. Therefore I am borrowing them from my brother. Yes, yes I am sleeping on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sheets from our childhood.
  • That might actually explains why I’ve had such bizarre dreams lately.

With me, where I am.

I value personal time.  And by value, I am NOT saying “in theory I like the general idea of having time to myself”. I am saying that in order to function it is nearly necissary to have that time, particularly first thing in the morning & then again at the end of the day. The best mornings begin with fluttering eyelids, weak attempts to grasp the wispy memory of dreams, then staring at the ceiling & having my first thought be “Good morning Jesus”. It’s even better when I am able to not actually speak, but just think to Him for the first hour of my day. Silence & Conversation as I go through the motions of preparation for the madness that too often follows.

The best days end nearly the same; the roommates one by one go to bed & I am left alone to straighten the house, put away dishes, feed the cat, pick up my guitar, maybe sing a little but mostly think thoughts directed at my friend, all in silence. If I can actually do this, give real time to being alone, silent & intentionally directing my thoughts & inner dialogue to the Lord first & then last in the day, I find my heart at peace in between.

But that is the only time I am typically & intentionally alone.  Before doing anything, it is natural to send a message  to see who is free & wants to ride along. I don’t mean sending out txt’s like buckshot, but thinking of who I’ve been wanting to catch a few minutes of conversation with, or what teen has been asking to spend time with me, or which good friend I’ve been wanting to tell something to without having the time or context. I’ve fought to learn intentionality in my relationships even in the midst of such a blasted busy community & my own blasted busy schedule & mostly that has expressed itself in simple multitasking, aka, bringing people into whatever I’m doing.

It’s that easy. Intentionality – it’s a big value in my life, something I fight for in random interactions & in my close friendships, & though I fail often I try to do it well. And the truth is that I’ve come to a place where I don’t know quite how not to.

It’s not that I am afraid of being alone, I love & need time to write, to think, to walk, to breathe, to sit in my backyard on my tree swing and stare at the leaves or the stars or the sunrise. It’s more that I love to have the people who are in my heart involved in the things that make my day’s move forward, with me & doing those things alongside me.

Kat & I go to Walmart late at night. Alyssa sits at my table late at night playing cards & discussing the prophetic, Further Seems Forever, & the dynamic of male/female interactions in our community. Danika & I burn sparklers on the porch and dance in the rain. Theresa runs errands with me so we can talk on the way & helps talking me into attending social functions & staying longer than 5 minutes. Jacob let’s me sit in the jeep when he goes on security rounds, or comes over late at night to sit on my porch & talk me through whatever is keeping me from sleeping. Seth txt’s me to ride with him to Backwoods when he needs socks. Trisha sits in Higher Grounds & listens to me rant about the latest thing burning in my mind. Annie stays up late to get $1 ice cream cups at Hyvee & cry in the car as we talk about dreams & Jesus.

There’s the list of friends who come over for breakfast, the Saturday morning pancake crew, the evening Nerts group, the “run to target and back” list, the “run to QT and back list”, different people for different activities, but all personal & intentional times of interaction & connecting. It’s a skill I’ve worked really hard at learning well while maintaining communion with the Lord and fighting for my time with Him. And here I am, 3 days away from moving & leaving all of those dear, beloved ones behind.

Last night, found me standing in my kitchen talking through my fears & insecurities about the future & the question marks before me with the friend who normally literally yells at me until I laugh & come to a right frame of mind. Right at the point of conversation when I anticipated him to jump in with a loud response I realized he was staring at me… expressionless. I continued until convinced he wasn’t even paying attention, then realized tears were pooling in his eyes. Insert me, erupting in sobs as he simply say’s “I’m going to miss you”.

Needless to say I had a hard time sleeping last night. Part of that may be because I’d sent everything to Virginia yesterday with my brother…. including all of my bedding…. & didn’t realize it until everyone in the house was asleep & all I could find was 1 random blanket… & it was cold. But I lay in that room flooded with memories, knowing this next season is good & this move is good, but knowing it’s taken 5 years to develop these relationships I am leaving behind, & then suddenly there He was. You know the feeling, when out of no where the presence of the Lord overwhelms your heart & mind. And I heard Him whisper, “Yeah I feel the same way, I want my friends with me too”.

It’s John 17 – Jesus longing for His friends to be WITH Him, right where He is, feeling His heartbeat & hearing the words on His lips. He longs for us. Wants us just with Him, doing whatever He is doing. The invitation is before us all throughout the day to enter into His heart & do that with Him, & I understood that a little more last night. Understood the invitation to walk into that communion with him, & the invitation to walk into that longing with Him. I want to be His friend, even in the places where it hurts, I mean you know you have a good friend when they can sit with you & hurt with you.

Jesus I want to sit with You, even to hurt with You. And I want to be with You where You are.


Thanksgiving Escapades 2009

My good friend Danika and I have created a fan page on Facebook called The (Mis)Adventures of Dani and Chris to document some of the hilarity of our friendship. Below is a note that we posted on Thanksgiving, I thought some of you might get a laugh:

I have breadcrumbs in my underwear.
Danika has pepsi in her hair.

Strange? Quite. But not if you had experienced the last three hours with us. See today was Thanksgiving. Dani came over to Chris’s house late morning and had a cup of coffee with grandpa, discussing the word… spanish. She went to work. Chris went to sing in the prayer room. They each had a Thanksgiving meal in different places, eating lots of turkey and goodness and spending quality time with friends.

Around 10pm we met up, and together with Audra made our way to Shiloh for a bonfire. Props to Jacob, it was a good bonfire. We enjoyed us some heat, burning logs, burning tires and laughs with friends. At one point we stole down a sneaky little path discovering a very sketchy makeshift bridge over a marsh (one of the upper lakes at Shiloh) and observed the bonfire from our stealthy vantage point until we got cold. Around midnight the three of us decided to go home and sleep.

That lasted about as long as it took us to get to the car. With one single “I feel like we should Seran Wrap one of these cars” all thoughts of sleep vanished. Truly folks, adrenaline is better than a 6 shooter. Unfortunately there was almost NO seran wrap at the Styles house so we gleefully made our way to Walmart. Audra has unsuspectingly discovered that the bonfire had disbanded with most of its members landing at the Scoggan house. We had found our target.

We boldly parked outside and ran to prepare our prize: Jacob’s car. Unfortunately Susie happened to walk out of the house mere minutes later…… to use Jacob’s car. But everyone knows that Susie is awesome, she was TOTALLY on our side, sneaking back into the house to get someone else’s keys, and left us to finish our dastardly deed. But as everyone knows, Susie is also easily swayed. A few minutes later she changed sides, deciding it would be better to TELL Jacob, having him come and catch us in the act. Which he did. He also carried cans of soda, spraying us with sticky carbonated syrup as we tried to muffle our laughter in the cold 1 am air.We had a good laugh together, he pulled some of the wrap from his car, and we began to clean up the mess in the street…..until he went inside. As he approached the door we quickly used the rest of our ammunition and decided to make a second trip to Walmart to commandeer more weaponry.

This time we made sure to get enough for 2 cars, feeling the need to redeem ourselves. We bought 12 more rolls, oh yeah, and a couple of cans of silly string. Really we felt rather proud of ourselves as we made our way back down blue river…..for the second time, and again parked on the street and began to finish the work we had started. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty amazing. But as you all know, pride comes before the fall. Aaaaaand everyone knows freaking Jacob Burkhalter (aka, we were ratted out again). And again, we found ourselves attacked with Pepsi and also pelted with rolls as Kyle came to Jacobs aid.

It was funny. We ran, we laughed, we screamed, we counter-attacked with Silly String…… and then convinced Jacob to not tell as we went and did one of the other cars. It might have worked. But it didn’t. In the beginning stages of the job we found ourselves discovered, for the THIRD time in three hours, and again pelted with rolls which we blatantly ignored. Well, Dani and Chris blatantly ignored them, Audra on the other hand was thoroughly distracted which proved helpful to the two of us as she kept Kyle busy with the rolls and we continued to work on the car……with the uncaring owner staring out the windows. #fail anyone?

Three hours, lots of money, two trips to walmart and three failed pranks, but you know it was fun. Of course, Kyle did crumble a roll down the back of my shirt, thus the crumbs in my underwear. And Dani & Audra did get soaked with soda, thus the pepsi in her hair. And this may have started a war that we may not be able to 1) keep up with and 2) finish, but all in all it was a successful misadventure. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

***Addendum added on November 28, 2009***
We would like to extend an apology to the Klopfenstein’s who van we unknowingly caught in the crossfire of soda and silly string. Remember kids, it’s not funny if the neighbor’s have to pay for it…

Media Dept. Fast: Day 3 – Joy

In the small things, when you’re tired. Joy in the knowing that the Lord of Glory simply adores you though you’re tired and weak at heart and in body. Joy in that one song you love being sung in the prayer room. Joy in the rain sprinkling from the sky and dancing in muddy puddles until you can’t feel your feet from the cold. Joy in whispering thanks for the friend who puddle jumped with you until she couldn’t feel her toes. Joy in the happy dog that greeted you at the door and the kitty purring in your lap.

Did you know that He is full of Joy?

a few thoughts

Today I was to go on an adventure with some friends, but woke with a pounding migraine which thoroughly canceled our plans.  The day was salvaged though, my friend Danika decided to bring an adventure to me. This included a fall bouquet, soup, sugar cookies and icing, and pumpkins to carve.

Check out the Wild Things on the plate!
Check out the Wild Things on the plate!
We carved this ourselves, laughing the WHOLE time
We carved this ourselves, laughing the WHOLE time
This is the sound he's making. My mother was proud.....ish.
This is the sound he's making. My mother was proud.....ish.

Two years ago Kyle blogged about Dating at IHOP after a conversation that I was privileged to witness between him and another good friend. You should read it, here’s the link. Here’s the follow up too :).

I have quite the interesting fast starting when I wake up. One of the leaders on the missions base had a powerful dream about the Media department needing to go on a specific fast to cleanse our hearts and minds. So we’re doing it in a very focused way for the next 5 days, while also including a Media fast that ends on the 31st. I plan to continue blogging during this time to share what the Lord is doing. Pray for revelation, fresh love for God and encounter on us as we seek Him!