United Pursuit music.

It always opens up my heart taking me to new places with the Lord & washing me with memories of the faithfulness of the different songs. Like ‘Fill me Up’. It was a good song to play on repeat in my room & to hum in the car but I can’t play it anymore without remembering the long night in the emergency room before Kat’s surgery, her pained voice whispering “sing me a song? that one that goes ‘love of God overflow’..” And the gentle heart of the Lord met us in that room as I sang.

I’ve been hearing it in my head all week. “You provide the Fire, I’ll provide the sacrifice”  & throughout the different activities of my day will suddenly stop and desperately whisper

Provide the Fire Lord.

I had a dream a few years ago & in it a man who MIGHT have been an angel looked at me with dark eyes and said “You still don’t have the fire, you’re not burning yet.” Instantly it was like my eyes were opened & I could see fire behind his eyes, & then it was like I could see through his skin. What I saw was like watching a breeze blow across the hottest part of a bonfire, the blue-red part, and it just rippled & waved. It was like he himself was a live coal, a burning flame of fire. And the stark contrast between that flame & the flesh that I saw when I looked at me was painful. That image , that contrast has stuck with me in my prayers, almost unlike any other.

I groaned in prayer then, ‘God give me your love, give to me Your passion, Your fire’ & never would have though that groan could, or would have reason to increase but it has. More than ever I feel the BURN of the lack & in my depths cry GOD GIVE ME YOUR LOVE, YOUR PASSION, YOUR FIRE.

And let all else fade away. And let my weakness fade away. And let my lack fade away. Oh to BURN with the heart of the Lord. To see as He see’s, to pray as He prays. To know how to respond to seasons, to calamity, to death, to man. To know to laugh when He laughs & weep when He weeps.

You provide the fire Lord, let me be the sacrifice.


Rustling Leaves

  • Late tonight after the family had gone to bed I made my way to the kitchen to squish up blackberry’s, chop up apples, & bottle this current batch of Kombucha. Truthfully, I like the stuff. But more than the taste, I like probiotics.
  • So I’m excited that Kim ordered Water Kefir granules & that they are arriving this next week. Once her granules double she’ll give some to me & I will have TWO scoby’s pumping out healthy goodness in this basement. I have determined that this is the year that I will get better, and by the grace of God, I will do all that is necessary.
  • Used book stores happen to be my favorite….. of anything? That’s a big statement, let’s settle with “I really like them” & today I scored big time. All hardbacks, all yellowed & tattered, all beautiful.
    • A Song In His Heart by John Jay Daly. Copyright, 1951 It chronicles the life of James Bland, a black Minstrel who captured the heart of Virginia in his music.
    • Tillie: The Story of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Copyright 1904. The binding is separated revealing peeling papers barely held together by rough stitching.
    • Adventures in Friendship by David Grayson, Copyright & Published in 1910. The author & his sister left their lives in the city to run a farm & lead simple lives. Later Grayson went on to write a series of books entitled, Adventures in Contentment, Adventures in Understanding & The Friendly Road. The back of the cover of this book states;

Lovers of the Grayson books formed a Graysonian Club, & their creed is worth quoting, “To be a Graysonian is to be fond of the open air, to love the stretching road, the sun on the shoulder-blades, the golden riot of the autumn leaves; to slip away from everything & go a-wayfaring with joy for a comrade.”

    • My kind of book.
    • A 1872 copy of the publication of the Yearly Meeting of Friends titled, ‘Doctrines, Christian Advices & Rules of Discipline’ . Yeah, that’s the Quakers. I’m MOST interested in reading their thoughts on the above.
    • And last but not least, an 1884 copy of Edward Roe’s ‘A Young Girl’s Wooing’. Chapter titles include “The Secret of Beauty, Rival Girls, The Enemies’ Plans, The Strong Man Unmanned, Certainly I refuse You & The End of the Wooing.” It’s quite possible that I will be forced to write a book review on this last one.
  • Tonight’s serenade is once again provided by the United Pursuit Band. So wonderful, it strums the strings of my heart with a faithfulness unlike almost any other group.
  • Thank you Katie for these pictures of Honey. That’s my pup, and if you don’t think she’s cute then you’re probably not alive.
  • I sincerely enjoy munching on Veggie Straws.
  • My stash of Peppermint Oreo’s is coming to an end. Most nights end with a glass of milk & a handful of cookies about an hour before bedtime. I have no idea how I am to replace Peppermint Oreo’s.
  • Sophia is back from Hong Kong/India. And temporarily living in my house in Kansas City…. while I am living in Virginia. For the last 4 years we’ve talked of her living with me there. It is interesting then that the timing was not until I left. Sorry friend, if I’d have moved a year ago you might have found yourself there a year sooner.
  • Fish. Since my beta died on my 18th birthday I’ve been convinced they were the one animal that I would never have an ounce of affection for. That is until I moved to Virginia & found my pet-less self sharing a basement with a hunch-back fish who wants nothing to do with me. I call him Igor. I sing to him little ditty’s & try to draw him out of the greenery to come & dance for me, but no. He hides. Darts up the mast of the sunken pirate ship & hides behind the sail. Fine Igor, scorn my love. I will sing you songs until your hard little fish heart changes! One day you will love me!

Soul Breath

I believe that music is the product of our souls breathing. When my emotion is at a peak, words fail me and thoughts only come in melodies. The current song playing softly from my speakers is “Break every chain” by the United Pursuit Band. After listening to “Fill me up” on repeat I opted for a break.

This week, I’ve only truly spoken in music and tears.

To say the last 7 days have been hard would not do justice to any of the members of my little household. An already difficult monday was wrapping up with a pastoral meeting , I was the one BEING pastored this time, that is until Katrina called weeping. The hours of 1am-10am were spent in the emergency room…… again. Seriously I’m not pointing fingers but someone hates us.

Thursday I brought her home with a diagnosis of Endometriosis, her left fallopian tube was crazy enlarged and her left ovary had been stuck in a tunnel of tissue caused by the Endometriosis, creating a feeling she described as “being stabbed by knives from the inside of my stomach.” All this was discovered during a laparoscopic procedure which she is to take  5 days of rest to recover from.  It is sickly ironic. Today I found her literally bored to tears, and shook my head at the memory of literally one year ago crying in frustration at my post-surgery bed rest.

I’ve wept all week from the turmoil with Katrina, and because I’m tired of my heart being sick.  I am still desperate for a breakthrough, and the pain of it was multiplied this week at wounds of misunderstanding and painful responses from a trusted friend.

And Dani received word last night that her mom has breast cancer.

Whew. Long week in the Styles house.  After a long work day, lots of tears, and a long conversation with my East Coast brother, my tired feet found themselves standing outside the volleyball courts at FSM tonight, surrounded by sounds of dodge ball and teens chatting excitedly about receiving their acceptance into SMI this summer…… and I didn’t know who HALF of these kids were.

Tonight was a foretaste of every Saturday night for the rest of the summer. Next week at least 300 teens are pooling into KC for Main Session One of ATC 2010. I have no idea what I’m in for.

But somehow tonight I found myself sprinting through the parking lot, driving to the Cataldo’s and jumping in their pool fully clothed, only to be back at FSM 15 minutes later. A 15 minute break was all we needed to see the night through.  That spontaneous drive across grandview to jump in a cold pool completely destroyed the residue hanging on me from the week.

The Lord knows just what I need for this summer, I have no reason to doubt He will give to me generously.He is going to provide for all of our needs according to each of our hearts. He is not surprised by the tension that we feel, by the rising water levels around us, by that which grabs us by the ankles and pulls us under. And He knows just what to do.

For me, this week, it was to jump into a pool with one of my best friends, only to drive back and finish out Late Night. Aaaaand it was the hot dog I ate right after. I don’t know what I will need to get through next week, but I’m sure He’ll give that to me too. I think my favorite thing about Him is that He is my friend, the kind of friend who knows how I think, how I work, and just how to pour out love on my heart. And I never have to walk out any of these bad weeks alone. I love not being alone, and I love getting to sing a new song.

Fill me up God.