Life has been so unbelievable up to now.  (It seems to me.)  It’s difficult, still, for me to get around its harshness.  I want to soften the edges.  I want to forget–or misremember, at least–the hardest, most broken parts.  And yet, in some strange way, these are the very parts that have made me feel truly alive.  These are the deep(est?) places in my experience and they cause me to feel most present to myself.

It’s strange–and silly–to me that even the smallest of life’s disappointments and fears can trigger so quickly the deepest moments of life’s pain and hurt.

So my Office-Depot-boyfriend up and got married.  So what?  So …

So all of a sudden I am wondering again at my own misguided hopes and ideas for intimacy.  Past and present.  (Does nothing I aspire to in life make sense?  Are none of my inclinations founded?)  Are You, God, here in this on-going conversation with me?  (Or had I only imagined as much?)  Must I be forever out of step with Your agenda?  What’s so tough about us getting onto the same page?

It seems such dissonance is not in the essentials.  We’ve got the daily tasks and errands figured out; I’m on-board with the purposes of life.  But in the non-essentials.  In the moments of wishing and hoping; in desiring and deep-longing … why can I never seem to be in synch with what You’re all about?  When “we” pause from the duties at hand, pull-off the roadside for Kwikstop, and run inside for a treat … why do I always feel so disappointed in the end?

O Lord, may I more fully receive Your desires for me.  And not just in the big moments or lofty-goals … but in the little “I want chocolate” or “I’ll take pink” (ice-cream & Starburst) moments.  I need to believe You are signed up for those with me as well.

I have missed us–and such honesty together.  Has it been a day or a decade since such candor?  Forgive me for failing to be more forthright.  Begin–please–to mend our very small and average conversations of-late.  Begin to keep company with me in the places where I’ve been withholding interaction and trust.  I’m wanting to love you still (and so much deeper than I do) …

3/08, Jt’s Journal (because every once in awhile it’s okay to let others peek-in)

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Check.

Aside from some unusual race-day road-kill (and, come to think of it, some unusual race-day authorities) along the route, my first “official” 13-mile run was about everything I might have expected.  (Come to think of it, if I’d actually considered the route from Gardner to Olathe, I might’ve been prepped for a few dead-animals along the way.)

In any case, running with my buddy, Jen (far-left-grown-up … kind-of), was a super fun way to kick-off this dreary (spring?!) weekend.  Of course, our faithful cheerleaders braving the cold (Spring and Haley, to my right) made crossing the finish-line all the more worthwhile!

Half-down.  Full-coming soon …?

evening scripture

March 28, 2008

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12

evening psalm

March 27, 2008

Not to us, O LORD, not to us
       but to your name be the glory,
       because of your love and faithfulness.

Why do the nations say,
       “Where is their God?”

Our God is in heaven;
       he does whatever pleases him.

But their idols are silver and gold,
       made by the hands of men.

They have mouths, but cannot speak,
       eyes, but they cannot see;

they have ears, but cannot hear,
       noses, but they cannot smell;

they have hands, but cannot feel,
       feet, but they cannot walk;
       nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

Those who make them will be like them,
       and so will all who trust in them.

O house of Israel, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

You who fear him, trust in the LORD—
       he is their help and shield.

The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
       He will bless the house of Israel,
       he will bless the house of Aaron,

he will bless those who fear the LORD—
       small and great alike.

May the LORD make you increase,
       both you and your children.

May you be blessed by the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.

The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
       but the earth he has given to man. 

It is not the dead who praise the LORD,
       those who go down to silence;

it is we who extol the LORD,
       both now and forevermore.
       Praise the LORD.

Psalm 115

how cool is this place?

March 26, 2008

Browsing through some old trip pics; loving Venice all over again …

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While I find much to critique and celebrate within our American political system, I sometimes find myself –simply–merely amused.  A BBC article this past weekend brought these dynamics together with such finesse, I thought it worthy of a nod.  Here’s the teaser …

If you have been struggling to buy doughnuts in Des Moines just recently, or a snow shovel in Cincinnati, then I may have good news for you. The storm system of political energy which is America’s primary system has safely passed for another four years leaving the air trembling with energy in its wake. The winning strategy is to dream big, and to think small. In a country whose constitution guarantees voters the right to pursue happiness, you must offer what one strategist called “the vision thing”.

But … we did.  (And … it was.)

Birthday 3-2: 1 of the best, I must say.

We started with a brand new “pre-birthday” observance … made possible by my rock-star/brother-in-law, who took-on the role of single-parent for over 24 hours to give us what just may be the best gift conceivable: uninterrupted, exclusive sis-time.  Add to the extravagance: pajamas (by 6 p.m.) + homemade BLT’s (by 9 p.m.) + hours of conversation (converging by 10 p.m.) + sleep, sleep, and more sleep (wake-up at 8 a.m.?!).  It seemed the birthday had been duly-acknowledged before it even began!

Turns out, things were just warming up.  Think brunch-out (what says indulgence like ciabatta-pecan french toast, mugs of coffee, & college roommates lingering over conversation until mid-day?!).  Add to the mix make-up tips from a pro, birthday money exchanging hands, and dinner out with close friends.  (What more could a girl want?!)

 At one point during dinner — when the conversation was getting really good — I thought to myself: we couldn’t have planned for a birthday this good.  Then I remembered: we did.

But only one Grace-Giver made good on such plans.  I must say: it’s such fun to be celebrating — yet another year — of this, His company and care.  Such mind-blowing-beautiful-spaces amidst this messy life; how much more must be around the corner?

Celebrating (and planning) every chance we get …