Dreaming of Home

I woke up yesterday with a migraine.

And I ended yesterday with a migraine.

During a late night trip to walmart with Jenny I could feel the pressure rising & my vision blurring and decided to call it a day. A few minutes later I was in the kitchen grabbing Excedrin which I chugged with some coconut water for the elctrolites & promptly jumped in a steaming shower. This is my only migraine back up plan, and it didn’t work. 60 minutes later & like so many nights, I’m curled up in the dark wishing my mom were here to bring me an ice pack. I’ll get married some day if for nothing else than to have SOMEONE to bring me an icepack!

Half an hour later, I woke up. WIIIIIIDE awake from the caffeine in the Excedrin. Back up plan fail. After many attempts at sleep I decided to get up and…… do some accounting. *Sigh* I guess that’s the downside to sharing a basement with the office. Somewhere in the middle of that I found myself daydreaming about the Arabian’s we had when I was a teenager. Sassy died five years ago. I drove home to be with my parents for a few days who they said that losing the horse was the worst thing they’d ever gone through. Soon after that they gave Cressy to a BoyScout camp & I never saw him again.

That is until he popped up in my dreams this week. It was one of the nights that pain kept me awake until after 4, and somewhere before the alarm went off at 9 I found myself in Iowa, surrounded by rolling hills of rich, black soil, in the riding arena with the giant mulberry tree in the middle, and he and I went round and round in circles until his strong will finally caved & he would let me take him through rounds. It was a sunny spring day, the kind of perfect weather that bathe’s Iowa in glory all through the Spring, and in the dream my grandfather Carroll was sitting strong & straight on the top rail of the fence. With no oxygen tank & that beautiful smile spread across his face as he watched me determinedly fight the proud Arabian spirit. It’s amazing what dreams can do, the effect that they have. I woke exhausted, again, and breathless from the heart-pain.

Some hours later I stole away to the old horse farm where Jen & Jeremy live. Pain still racked my body as I walked through the forest and empty riding rings before settling in the top of the empty barn, aching for relief & aching for home. Home. Where the heart is, where loved ones are, where rest resides. But my heart is split, torn into so many pieces with those who I love, and peoples that I pray for all over the earth. Those whom I love live so far away from each other, and rest always seems to stay just out of my reach. And as I sat up in that window I ached for the home that never changes, where loved ones never die, where love always reigns victorious. Home.

We’re only at home where You are Jesus.

Bridesmaids Dresses

Today looked a little something like this:

Actually let’s begin with yesterday. After dinner & a house church meeting at the Sawyers, Jeremy, Jenny & I had a long, sleepy drive back into F-burg. Somewhere mid drive Jen & I hit our second wind. Very hard. At the same time. It’s hard to describe the way my sister-in-law & I interact. Hard to describe & yet so enjoyable to experience. Anyway, last night’s  car ride exploded with mirth & though we should have parted ways to go to bed I found myself following them into the country drawn by the promised fire. Since the move I’ve had a couple of nights like this, staying up way too late in their kitchen gathered around the fireplace buried in laughter and bizarre conversation with the two of them & Chad Easter. Last night the boys tramped outside while I set out to start the fire. Unfortunately I didn’t know anything about their flue & thoroughly smoked out the kitchen before realizing my mistake. Blame my country roots, you don’t have to open the flue when the stars are your ceiling. Anyway it proved for much laughter & Jen & I had the kitchen windows open & a blazing inferno to greet the boys who eventually found their way inside. These have by far been my favorite nights and last night was no exception and left me pulling into my driveway somewhere around 4am.

Thus begins today, bed around 4.30 sleeping for 9 hours and then throwing myself into yet another Sunday of working on Kat’s wedding.

Wash the cloth that will be cut & sewn into circles & flowers & strips for garland.

Find out where Bridesmaids are in ordering their dresses.

Discover major issue with Bridesmaids dressed.

Spend the next 4 hours on the phone with David’s Bridal and Bridesmaids

Look for dress options for the Flower girls

Email Email Phone Call Email

Put cloth in the Dryer

Phone Call Email Dinner

Message the guy working on decorations

Email Phone Call

File Taxes

Update Sister

Call Kelsey. Done.

Half the Bridesmaids have dresses purchased and being shipped tomorrow. The other half…. well I’ll do my best. I keep reminding myself that in a month all of the work will pay off, Kat & Josh will be married, we will be ecstatic to stand with them on the day they enter into covenant with each other before God & hopefully that emotion will mean that no one even cares what dress they are wearing.

I have 3 phone calls & 4 emails needing to be done tomorrow, before my 9.30am meeting that leads into a full day of work, a 4pm set and 4 hours in the House of Prayer, and I’ll pull in the driveway around 9.30 pm and still need to fold the mountain of laundry that I did last week and still needing to unpack my suitcase from my trip from 2 weeks ago. These days are one long blur, B4L into Prayer furnace come home and work on wedding. Next day: JHOP into B4L come home and work on wedding. Alternate, repeat. Now that the end is in sight with the Bridesmaids dresses the wedding details will dramatically slow down and I’ll breathe a little in between. It’s hard to help your sister plan & walk out her wedding party from half way across the country. It’s still worth it, every single day, every single moment.

11.39 & I should have gone to bed 40 minutes ago. But the guitar in the corner is drawing me gently & I’ll not sleep if I don’t spend some time singing with the Lord. Working for Bound4Life for the last 3 months has been an incredible experience. I love this little team, love being so close to Jen & J again, love my days praying in the JHOP in DC, & love the little bit I’ve been able to experience of the community at the Prayer Furnace. Sleep ever alludes me, & almost a day does not go by without tears washing my homesick heart, still I am thankful for the leadership of the Lord. You’re such a good Shepherd Jesus.

And when or if I should ever marry, it will be done in a Forrest &  my bridesmaids will wear flannel & go barefoot. There will be no problem with money, venue, dresses or shoes. Amen.

I sang tonight

no big deal really, I sing every night. In fact, I hardly can fall asleep without spending time strumming the guitar, same pattern,  same chords.

But I sang tonight, with Jenny. Service ended & she took the stage, turning the room sacred as the atmosphere of prayer settled back in.

It was 4 years ago, maybe more when she joined the Nightwatch. Good ole Dan Rickett’s, we have you to thank for Jenny. If she’d not joined our worship team we’d never have been friends & she’d not be my sister.

Singing together does a lot for a friendship. 6 Nights a week for a year, we sang on that team.  I know how her music thinks; her vocal intonations, where she’s going to lead, how she’ll end a phrase. And for an hour we ebbed & flowed, singing round the cross, the incarnation, the humanity of Christ, the mystery of the ages, & His soon return.

God will tabernacle with man: You’re never going to leave

Empty room, 5 people. 3 passed out on the floor, two pacing. Jenny & I harmonizing, finishing sentences, echoing phrases, dancing through notes & in these moments I believe it. I believe that this is who I am.

This last month there have been days when I would go into DC alone, spend time in the prayer room alone, do the LIFE siege in front of the Court alone & settle back in the prayer room alone before heading back to Fredericksburg, alone.  Those days I turn on the lights, pull out a space heater, tune up the guitar….. & pull a chair right in front of me. I set it just on the other side of my music stand. Then I settle down & close my eyes, down up down up, & behind them I can see Him sitting in that chair in that empty room with me.

And I believe that this is who I am.

Despite uncertainty, despite position or role. Despite city & country & year my call stays the same; to sing to the heart of God. To strain my ears for a whisper of what He’s thinking about & to sing about it to Him. When that is before me than I cannot be moved.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.

Love is such a worthy cause

The sound of fingers lightly strumming strings of wire, the guitar feels like a part of me with my ear down against the wood listening. Same familiar chords, same familiar pattern, same familiar song, “I miss you”. We do funny things with our missing. Some times it drives us to extreme measures in hopes to convince a return, sometimes it finds us madly pursuing our pleasure, thoughtlessly filling our thoughts with others to avoid….. what? The missing. But it doesn’t go away.

Do our souls remember Eden? How else could we ache for communion?

So many of my friends have left town lately and I want them all to return; tuck them all in next to me, no don’t leave, stay here where I have control. I’ll wrap up in you all like a blanket as a comfort to my fears that some of you might go …. but even now you are going.

This week I missed my brother. Dang it, I’ve missed him every day since he left. Matt Lockett sent me a cruel photo of the two of them stating “He’s here with me. And you are not.” As soon as I saw it I burst out in smile – Jeremy with Matt. I love that Jeremy is with Matt! Then tears, because I want to be with Jeremy & Jen, and I want to be with Matt & Kim. Oh fellowship. The next night I pulled into the parking lot and passing what I thought to be Jenny’s car got so excited to run inside and hug my brother, only to remember how far away that hug is. I txt him my dilemma and he responded “come and get em!” It’s a long drive to Fredricksburg for a hug J.

My heart has been aching, to quote Sara Groves “So much painful information no sure way on how to hold it and everything in me is tightening like a circle round this ache”. Friends and family moving away and changing, Haiti & my hearts cry, and the pains that come with life. One of my dearest friends from my “pre-IHOP” days is going through the hardest thing that I could imagine and is too far away for me to comfort, a missionary friend finds herself deported and lost on what to do and where to go, even in my home the increasing awareness of our brokenness combined with circumstances threatens to overwhelm us.

I spent an hour on the phone crying with a friend this week, longing for words of life but having nothing to offer him but my tears and woke the next morning to the song “love is such a worthy cause” drifting through my brain. Love, the worthy cause. But it cost’s everything.

To love well is choosing to be the one who loves more NOT the one who IS loved more, and it does mean that we are the one who is loved less. To love is to feel, to love well is to be hurt. The more we love the more tender we become and the easier we feel the pain. Living with hearts that are bruised; the most gentle push hurts deeply. And what is the option from here? Turn back? “Where else can we go Jesus? You alone have the words of life.”

I imagine the Son of Man, eyes like fire – can you see them burn? Gazing over the hillside. The multitudes. Shepherdless sheep, His sheep. Harassed, helpless, abused, lied to, betrayed, lost, confused, manipulated, led on only to have their hopes dashed time and time again, dreamless, hopeless, accused and loveless ….. and He was moved. Can we be His friends and not be moved? Oh the Son of God, the Lord of all Creation how He FEELS.

Oh the longing in our souls to be with You Jesus. The longing in our souls for the garden, we’ve not forgotten, we were made for true communion. Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the wrong would be made right, that Love would have it’s day, that all darkness would flee before Your ever increasing light, and that we would be found like You.

Love. It costs us everything today, it cost You everything too. Everything. It’s not figurative, not poetic language that Love looks like “the God-Man bleeding on a tree.” There is no deeper truth; love looks like the Son of God, the Lord of Glory, unrecognizable as even a human with a gash in his side that pumps out blood to a beat, the beat of a dying human heart. That is Love in the truest form, the clearest picture. It costs us everything, oh but help us to believe that it will pay for forever.