A practical post

Our car is broken, and it is very sad. For some time we have needed to get a ball joint replaced, two weeks ago someone busted in our back side window, and one week ago the starter and battery kicked the dust leaving us quite immobile. The battery was purchased immediately, but the starter had to wait until Kat and I got paid this last week, and until our friend and mechanic can get to it :/ BUT yesterday morning, we discovered an envelope with $119 in the mailbox. Devoid of any sort of signature it simply said “For your car.” I’m humbled each time I think of it, and have cried a couple of times in thankfulness. This is about 1/3 of what we need to get the car totally fixed and I keep thinking of Psalm 119,

Give thanks to the Lord for He is GOOD, His love endures forever

It is 8am on Sunday morning; I have been awake since 6.30 and I am in pain. My wisdom teeth have been working their way in for sometime and I’d decided to simply live with them, but yesterday convinced me otherwise.

I had two weddings to attend and in the rush of getting ready began to notice increasing pain on the left side. In between weddings I took some migraine medicine to handle it, but by 9.45pm I was home, in bed and hardly functional. I had used Ibuprophen and Orajel and by 10.15 they had kicked in and brought much needed relief, but my left cheek is quite swollen and I’m not quite sure what to do about the whole situation.

Here is my dilemma:

  1. I don’t have insurance
  2. The car needs to be fixed
  3. The Dog AND Cat SERIOUSLY need to go to the vet
  4. *Spoiler Warning* I’m praying about a temporary move that will not take place for a few months, but will require a significant increase in my financial support
  5. It’s almost November, and I don’t think I can take 2 weeks off of work before Onething
  6. This cancels any chance of my getting to MN this year to visit Shelley

Prayers and Suggestions are greatly appreciated at this point.

Someday I’ll learn to blog briefly

1.50 am.

If I cry after midnight then I am ruined. There is something about tears, trickling slowly out the corners or pouring down my face, either way the release brings awareness, not sleep to my bones

While doing laundry in the silent house it hit me, “I get really grumpy when my foot hurts.” This revelation brought waves of questions, pains and fears related to the whole “foot issue” and instead of dealing with any of them i got on the internet. Joanna has posted some new music and I click on the top one….then replayed it for two hours.

I knew what I was getting into when I called you, and I’m not surprised by you. I knew what I was getting into when I said your name and I said it just the same. I know you better than you do. I knew what I was getting into when I chose you but I chose you still. I  knew what I was getting into, I know your frame, and I remember that you are but dust and I know where this is going…..I don’t regret it.

Really I didn’t cry until hour 2.5 but suddenly that hit me. That line right there, “I remember that you are but dust, but I know where this is going, I don’t regret it”. Because sometimes I regret it. There are times when the battle in my soul is raging and I accuse the Lord of So. Many. Things. When I remember OH how I remember the zeal of my youth and I wonder “just what AM I doing with my life anyway?”

But He knew.

The summer of 2004 found me in San Salvador, El Salvador serving a ministry called Castillo del Rey.There I was first introduced to the concept of 24/7 prayer in their Prayer Tower, where 24 hours a day they housed missionaries who had no part of their ministry, but to pray. Half of the day they sang the bible and worship music and used instruments, but during the night, they chanted the psalms Gregorian monk style: accapella harmonies. In that place I hungered, and I accused God. Sitting on the roof of the building, starring into a pitch black sky shot with shinning stars, the sound of prayer rising up from below I cried out to the Lord, “Why did You make it so hard to love You! Why isn’t there a place in AMERICA where people can go and just love You with all of their hearts?”.

A little over one single year later, and I found myself again in the middle of the night, bitterly weeping. Standing in the back of that brown prayer room, leaning up against a huge map of the world that is the back wall with my hands spread across the nations, knowing that the Lord was inviting me to stay in Kansas City, and do what? Love Him with all of my heart.

How fickle that heart can be.

That morning a few interns gathered to my car for our morning Shiloh-breaking-curfew-ritual and I could feel despair rising in my soul, wondering how I could ever live up to all that God expected when He looked at IHOP, wondering if He ever thought of the Prophetic History and actually saw ANY of us making it. We sat by the frozen lake, silent, as the wind HOWLED around us and suddenly, the sun burst over the horizon and everything was gold.

Grabbing my guitar from the car I walked far enough away to leave them in peace and strummed those 4 chords as hard as I could, mourning with understanding that I would never be what God wanted me to be, never do the things I dreamed for Him. Really I don’t know why, but as quickly as I’d started I stopped and reached down at my feet as though something there could save me. My fingers clasped a broken, frozen lump of clay.  And in that dried up riverbed, the wind roaring all around, my ears heard the words”He remembers…”

You remember that we are but dust, but You know where this is going. And we’re going to like it, and we’re going to REALLY love You when this is over.

What a sweet invitation

A little over a year ago in a particularly difficult season of increased migraines, I found myself lying down on the couch in our living room with all of the lights turned off, the blinds tightly shut & my eyes further barricaded by a massive ice pack. Drifting in & out of consciousness I fought tears. Crying builds the pressure in your head & makes you want to do anything to not feel anymore.

Wow, even as I type that it sounds SO dramatic but it is really true, there are times when the pain is so strong that you wish you could do ANYTHING to not feel, & you cry out for the mercy of the Lord just to sleep.

The air coming out of the vent on the wall would sporadically make the blinds rustle enough that one of them would silently slip out of place & the light from a street lamp would fall across my face, bringing me almost to the point of awareness. In these moments between sleeping & waking I gradually became aware of gentle music & a light chorus being sung. It was quite an odd feeling when I realized it was my own voice I was hearing, singing a chorus of

Pain, what a sweet invitation, what a sweet invitation to knowing You

We don’t like to talk about that part of God’s heart – the hurting part. But He makes all things beautiful & He finds us in all things – so if pain is an entrance into knowing Him more, then I will follow through that narrow door.