Unscripted.

I have a tendency to day dream. Meaning that I think about things to much, plan out events, conversations, flesh out goals, shade in relationships, internally organize, and attempt to administrate the details of my life into tangible moments that I can order and control. And after all of that internal effort those carefully constructed day dreams have a devastating way of crumbling around me without a single piece of the debris falling into the place that I intended.

So I eat a lot of icecream. When the dust settles and there is just not a thing you can do about it, my best response is icecream. This week has been completely outside of my control, ending with a day that I can’t even begin to describe, and at the end, leaving 3 hours after I’d planned due to a situation that I never could have forseen I decided that the only appropriate response was to stop by McDonalds for a dipped icecream cone. Sitting in silence in a borrowed car in the drive-thru and trying not to think about the day, I pulled up to the sign to order only to hear that the ice cream machine was broken.

It’s amazing, just how unscripted this life is.

Joshua has been checking in on me quite a bit during the hurricane of the last few weeks. Yesterday evening I receive a message from him asking why I’ve not been blogging. I thought for a moment before telling him that things have been too personal to write about, to which he replied “I think those may be the best kind of things to write about.”

This Tuesday it will have been 4 months since the Southern Lady passed away.

In an incredible act of love her family offered for me to stay in the house until it is sold.  An estate sale was held at the beginning of July while I was home visiting my family and as expected, I returned to a house with out furniture, decorations, or any evidence of being lived in save for my bedroom. The week of my birthday I acquired two amazing vintage rockers from Craigslist, followed by a small table as a present from my brothers family, the three of which barely scratch the surface of filling the empty space.

The emptiness of the house serves as a very practical means of magnifying the turmoil in my heart;

I am a very communal individual, loving life with MANY housemates, and for four months my little dog and I have lived alone in the empty house.

I have yet to find a replacement  “job” to supplement my missionary income.

Two weeks ago my dearly beloved rust-bucket car actually died. This happened the week of the anniversary of Miah’s death, and the week that we were hosting a regional teen conference, in which I had a large role to play.

Some days later the hard-drive on my iphone crashed leaving it in a state of being completely incapable of connecting to the wireless signal aka, rendering the phone useless. I’ve never even HEARD of that before.

The last four week I’ve been under a constant barrage of irrational, in-explainable personal/ financial/ spiritual/ relational and ministerial events that I can only describe as the craziest spiritual attack I’ve ever experienced….which culminated in the drive-thru lane at McDonalds tonight as I heard that the ice cream machine was broken.

Completely and utterly…..not what I had planned.

Depressing as this story sounds….there has been incredible breakthrough over the last seven days. My physical and spiritual family both in the mid-west and on the east coast have banded around me in prayer and support and the fruit is being manifest in my heart and life daily. And there is light ahead 🙂

A friend has indefinitely given me use of her vehicle. Someone gave me an old at&t phone to use. And just so that you can believe that God does in fact give to us ‘everything that we need for life and godliness…..’  there was half a tub of Strawberry Haagen Das icecream in my freezer when I got in tonight.

When Miah died  Bob Falkner told me to buy Ann Voskamps book ‘One Thousand Gifts’. I had no idea how the next year of my life would be ordered around the Lord’s deep commitment to teaching me about the receiving of His grace.

Tonight I shared with a friend the emotional story of the last twenty four hours.  After some long moments of quiet reflection she said ” I love you Christina, you’re just so…….raw. Do you know what I mean by that? You’re just …..raw.”

Unscripted.

Sara Groves would call it “Wide open, like a lake”

Derek Loux called it “Green and Tender”

It’s learning how to force the fist to unclench, relinquishing the death grip on what I couldn’t control anyway, opening the fingers, smoothing down the palm. You open Your hands and You satisfy (Ps. 145.16), I open my hands and receive. It’s ghastly simple, and the most un-natural position for an anxiety ridden heart like mine; to take whatever You give, to call it grace, and offer it back to You in thanks.

I cry and I pray and I stumble. I think to hard, circle round the options, fight to come up with a plan, stay up too late strumming those same guitar chords trying to soothe the same old ache in my eternal soul. I accuse God, accuse His bride, break, repent, and while aching for answers fight to keep my hands off the details, stop trying to organize, lift up my eyes to the hills and lean into His strength. I am still keeping lists, because Bob say’s that if we’re not operating in Thanksgiving than we’re operating in atheism.

And I choose to live, raw. Vulnerable. To stop fighting tooth & nail to hide the frailty of my human heart, to give God the room to come in and bring healing to the broken, weak places. I bawl in the prayer room, in the weekly meetings when suddenly the room surrounds me in prayer and cry out for break through in my life, at stop lights, and alone in the quiet house that the Lord provided for me when there were no answers to an un-solvable situation.

And as my foundations are exposed and greatly shaken, I choose to cling to the Rock that is higher than I.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter)

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Rustling Leaves

  • “I am more than what these ashes say for they will flee away when He comes for me. My love is real before His eyes, He’s ravished by the sight of one glance from me”
  • My little cup of chocolate icecream from the Bargain Factory is not that good. But I ate the whole thing anyways.
  • Yes I am single. No I do not hate men, nor do I ACTUALLY believe that I am to live single until I die or the Lord should return. Please quit asking me if I’m never going to get married when I tell you that I am single. No I don’t want to get coffee with your assistant or have dinner with your cousin.
  • It’s incredible how much love you can feel for an animal. We had to put Pippin to sleep unexpectedly last Saturday morning and I’ve wept all week-long. Literally. So has my mom. And sister. And my Dad.  This darling dog was the cutest puppy I’d ever seen in my life and stole my heart the first time I saw him 6 1/2 years ago. His absence screams at us. Right now I’m wanting to get a big dog to run with but am being shut down by…. everyone.
  • It has been exactly 20 days since I have blogged.
  • It could have nothing to do with me. That’s highly possible in fact but none the less I have noticed 3 of our highschool girls dying parts of their hair red over the last two weeks. Wether or not this has anything to do with my hair funk it has caught my attention and put an extra tremble inside of me about the influence  of a young person working with teenagers, and wanting to only use that to thrust them into the heart of Christ.
  • When you are out of eggs, milk, sugar, cream & bread it is very difficult to make breakfast, OR drink coffee. In such an instance it is perfectly acceptable to eat cake for breakfast, even several days in a row. And also to drink hot chocolate.
  • Friday I decided two things. 1)I will not live under a spirit of rejection no matter what my circumstances or past say to me and 2)I refuse to be unsatisfied in God.
  • Thursday I watched Alyssa break through an iced-over stream with her backside. And I laughed for a minute before helping her up. It was priceless.
  • After spending 7 days balking on a big decision I finally made the leap…..and then slept REALLY well for the first time in 7 days. Fear steals peace, sleep, time, joy and all sorts of important things. Let’s all live fearlessly shall we?
  • I still deeply miss my brother, and have finally resolved the issue that the pain of that isn’t going to lesson for some time leaving me free to burst into tears shamelessly every time someone asks me if I miss him. Please don’t ask, it’s quite messy.
  • One can be quite happy  to exist on a diet consisting of mostly rice with random foods to supplement. If my best friends can live a simple lifestyle in other countries doing missionary work then I can also live that way in THIS country while doing missionary work.
  • Borrowing cars to get to all of the appointments in my schedule is becoming increasingly difficult and quite wearying. That being said I am thankful for my feet AND for my new Vibram Five Fingers that I prayed for and the Lord provided for!! Yes they look strange and Yes I DO feel like a frog when I wear them but I’m pretty sure they’re going to help strengthen my feet and THAT is quite exciting!
  • I’ve set my heart on the youth of this city. I’ve set my eyes on the young people at IHOP. If you are one of them and are reading this blog post you may now feel loved, but also warned because I am watching you and I’m going to fight for you to live radical lifestyles of righteous love.
  • Tonight several friends prophesied over my parents who are visiting and were attending the Awakening Service. It was incredible, for my parents, for kat & I and for those hearing from the Lord on our behalf. I pray to never cease to be amazed at the depth of love the Father has for us.
  • My visiting parents brought groceries. SERIOUS groceries, and though I love to live simply my stomach is happy to not be mostly filled with rice for a couple of weeks. Let’s hear it for good parents!
  • C.S. Lewis makes a point in his book The Four Loves that “Affection at it’s best” is shown to those around the dinner table rather than those at the dinner party. He requires that the best of our affection be lavished on those in our home, with greater thoughtfulness, kindness, intentionality  and preference than we give to the friends who we meet with occasionally. This is a hard requirement but one WELL worth fighting for. If, and I believe it to be true,  the one thing that matters most when we stand before the Lord of Glory is how we learned to love then we must WAR against the drive to disdain those in the closest proximity to our lives. The King of Kings is Himself the Lamb who was slain. How then should we live? My proposal: “Wide open like a lake.”
We had op0lito put-p vccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc Pippin to sleep unexpectedly last saturday morning and I’ve wept all week long. Literally. So has my parents & my sister.

Fall

Last night I pulled my grumpy self into bed and flipped off the light only to have my phone promptly ring. Answering I hear the voice of one of my bro’s say “Get outside, you’re going for a drive with me”.  After lamenting that I was already in bed I did grab a sweatshirt and sulked outside, glaring as I climbed into the car. Undaunted by my bad attitude he promptly tells me to be thankful, “As soon as I get a girlfriend I can’t do this anymore.” I was thankful, that I didn’t have to go to bed grumpy, that the Lord sent me a friend, and that I was able to be out in the clean air and see the stars a little while driving. But someone tell me why getting a girlfriend means you can’t be friends with your girl – friends anymore, hhmmm?

The last carton of Icecream that I bought was Organic All Natural Alden’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and it was fantastic. I also just finished it which is unfortunate because I don’t get paid till Monday and one of my life goals is to eat ice cream everyday.

I’ve been actively resisting the coming of fall for different reasons. 1)I have really enjoyed this summer 2)I don’t like to be cold 3) I couldn’t remember liking fall. But then I realized that was because I couldn’t remember LAST fall which was strange only until I remembered that LAST fall we were in CA and didn’t experience a midwest fall. Once I pegged the emotion to the fact, I remembered that I DO in fact like fall. I like bonfires and tea, falling leaves and walks, cool evenings and stew and pies and holidays and people. And change. The ending of seasons and beginning of seasons.

Danika brought her espresso machine to my house this morning and I made pancakes. We fellowshipped over latte’s and communed with Holy Spirit as we talked about Him and wanting burning hearts. I want to fellowship with ALL of my friends and have my heart burn.

My guitar sounds better when other people play it. This is a travesty as I am the one who mostly plays it.

A friend of ours is moving to San Diego next week, and my heart goes with her in so many ways. The good news is that she is staying with us for all of THIS week, and we’ve decided to make videos….everyday. We already planned on making a video for annie about the song we sang at her going away party, and shot a Teaser last night.

Friendship revelation of the week: There are people in my life who I have been close to and had fellowship with, and now I am not, and that’s ok. It’s ok  to release  them to whatever else and whoever else may come into their lives.  On the other hand there are people around my life that I want to be friends with because I believe that there COULD be true fellowship, but I can’t make that happen either and each has to be walked out gently, with pure heart motives, and consideration.

Tomorrow morning we are going to the City market to buy blueberries. By morning I mean noon thirty because it’s 3.45 am and I am skyping Annie.

Last week  I bought a couch, and a lamp with vines and leaves on it. I now own a couch. That I bought. And a lamp that I prayed to find and Jesus gave it to me.  Thanks Jesus.

July 11, 2009

Lightning     Fireflies     Crickets     Ice Cream and Country music.

If I were home right now I’d be sitting on the roof outside my window (dear God, never let my mom read my blog. It terrified her that I used to climb out that window)  or high up in the big tree by the far pasture.

In my memories there are still horses in that pasture. Two chestnut Arabians, and one miniature pony, and in half an hour I would hear the sound of the train going through t.wn. It still surprises me that my babies are gone,

Cressie was my favorite because he was bigger, stronger and harder to control.  The first night we had him I spent nearly two hours high up on that back as he fought to go into the barn, and I fought to go on a ride. The result was the two of us going in one small circle for a LONG time. He put up a good fight, eventually trying to shake and rear me off but he finally gave in and five minutes later I took him in to eat. I think he loved me for fighting with him that night.

Tonight I sit on the front porch, the sound of cars ringing in my ears, far far away from the home that I love.  Joshua taught Hebrews 3 in bible study tonight, the Spirit of God was so strong in the room that my breath was shallow and I had to actively fight the tears that threatened to run free; we are looking to a city. Hoping in a King who’s rule will never end, and longing for the day when we can always be with Him. Josh said that David completely removed the veil from the temple, which makes Ps. 84 make SO much more sense. I understand that heart of that earthly king “just let me be a little bird sleeping at your feet” he never wanted to leave Your presence either.

Summertime always makes me think of home, old friends, and missions trips. Remembering all of the bonfires, all of the fundraisers, all of the outreaches, always being in another country over my birthday. I loved that part, loved wearing myself out all summer long. Back then I felt radical, and remember finding you in the extravagant places; on the plains of the Lakota Sioux reservation, out on the brick streets of Londonderry, in the side of a volcano in San Salvador. Now I search for you in the corner of a brightly lit room, trying to hide my tears from the camera’s & my friends running them.

It’s funny how different things look as time passes. How easy it would be to become dissilutioned with our own misunderstanding. I never in my worst dreams imagined myself in America at 22. But here I am loving You Jesus. I’m convinced there’s a journey ahead that even I couldn’t have dreamed up, and am so thankful for the time that You have given me to learn how to set my face towards You, to fix my eyes. You’re so faithful to keep on teaching me. You see everything, and still You love me.