Life is Messy.

I’m finally learning–finally accepting, the fact that life just is messy.

I am the sort of person who really wants it to be perfect. I want things to make sense, and I want everyone to think I’m perfect, and I want everyone else to be perfect, too, so that my life can be perfect.

Seven younger siblings, two parents, many friends, several plot twists, and 23 years in–and I’m finally accepting that life just isn’t perfect, won’t be perfect–not here.

It’s okay.

It’s broken, we’re broken, I’m broken, and I don’t have to fix everything.

Jesus came down into this messy world. And He got messy Himself, helping. And it’s His job to finally make everything new in its time. Not mine.

And the time isn’t now. Soon, soon… but not now.

For now, I think, we just need to accept it.

We need to know that God uses broken people.

He uses messy situations.

Because He’s just like that.

The Redeemer.

And we need to give each other much grace, much love, much forgiveness, as we stumble along, together on this narrow road. We need to focus on the good in the messy.

Even more, we need to remember that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

He has gone before us and He walks with us. He knows it all– knows how tangled and painful it this life is–and yet He enters in, with us.

We’re not supposed to be comfortable down here. I’m starting to think that’s the point. It’s supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to hurt–not because He’s mean, but because this isn’t home. If it was easy and clean and perfect, we might get confused and think it was. We might get settled down into pursing the trivial, fleeting things of this world.

Sometimes, we mange to do that–but only if we close our eyes and our hearts.

We can’t.

Time is too short to go on pretending that life isn’t messy.

We have to see it, and in His strength, love (not fix) people anyways.

It’s hard, it’s messy, and it’s so worthwhile, in the end.

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Of Sin and God’s Love

J127 (224)

I begin with the very common cry… “There’s so much hurt, God, so much pain in hearts I hold dear…” And He says, softly like, Do you see? Do you see why I hate sin so much?

Folks, there are a lot of reasons God hates sin… But one of them is this: He hurts when we hurt, and sin is always at the back of hurt. Maybe not your sin, but someone’s.

Do you see, a bit, how His urging us to be holy and godly is all based in love? How He longs to see us freed from this awful sickness, this constant pain? How… How He bought us for this, with His very life-blood, when we were the ones who killed Him?

Fortitude

J127 (362)

“There is a certain curious comfort in remembering that the Father depends upon His child not to give way. It is inspiring to be trusted with a hard thing. You never asked for summer breezes to blow upon your tree. It is enough that you are not alone upon the hill.”

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“. . . but the big kind of courage is the cold-blooded kind, the kind that never lets go even when you’re feeling empty inside, and your blood’s thin, and there’s no kind of fun or profit to be had, and the trouble’s not over in an hour or two but lasts for months and years. One of the men here was speaking about that kind and he called it ‘Fortitude.’ I reckon fortitude’s the biggest thing a man can have–just to go on enduring, when there’s not guts or heart left in you.”

~From Amy Carmichael’s Gold by Moonlight

101 Things that Happened While I Was 22…

{In no particular order at all…}

  1. I started a new blog to combine all my blogs.
  2. I watched The Hobbit in 3D.
  3. I started playing guitar.
  4. I was given a guitar for Christmas.
  5. Our Bright Lights group doubled in size.
  6. I read many life-changing books.
  7. My baby sister learned how to walk and talk.
  8. I planted an herb garden.
  9. I helped plant a vegetable garden.
  10. I wrote thousands of words and 100 plus blog posts.
  11. I went away from home for nine weeks, alone.
  12. I traveled to New York.
  13. And Minnesota.
  14. And Colorado.
  15. And lots in between.
  16. I got in a car accident. (well, I was in the front passenger seat.)
  17. I experienced doing a 360 on the highway. (also in the passenger seat.)
  18. I learned about Schluter waterproofing.
  19. I went to Coverings (flooring show) in Georgia.
  20. We went camping twice.
  21. I hosted a Purim celebration.
  22. I got much better at cooking.
  23. I toured the Nina and Pinta.
  24. I helped organize child care for a family conference.
  25. I played Holy Holy Holy on guitar at Bright Lights.
  26. I performed on the guitar with Hannah and with Daniel and Emily.
  27. I learned I’m decent at archery.
  28. I learned more about sword fighting.
  29. I prayed far more than any previous year.
  30. I toured a newspaper office.
  31. I took five of my younger siblings to the Tampa zoo (and no one even got eaten).
  32. I helped run and organize a tile store.
  33. I promoted a company via social media/website and actually got customers.
  34. I took thousands of pictures.
  35. We participated in a homeschool family Olympics.
  36. I participated in the communion sharing time several times.
  37. We went geocaching.
  38. I helped teach/organize 4 (or more?) teen events with GOV.
  39. I sold books with GOV.
  40. I met many amazing godly people.
  41. Including the Ludys.
  42. And Dana Gresh.
  43. I made a crest/flag.
  44. I sang in a chapel by candlelight.
  45. I learned that I’m INTP and DICS
  46. I colored my hair purple
  47. I climbed rocks.
  48. I went to Whit’s End.
  49. I got security training.
  50. I packed books.
  51. I made 2 pies.
  52. We got our first real Christmas tree.
  53. I got a Facebook account.
  54. And a Twitter account.
  55. And a Pintrest account.
  56. I got good at cutting out snowflakes.
  57. I filled up several journals.
  58. I memorized James 1.
  59. I had at least 7 different drinks at Starbucks (including chai tea and hot chocolate).
  60. I made new friends.
  61. I got a new camera.
  62. I was used by God to speak to several people.
  63. I learned new ways of praying and communicating with God.
  64. I started keeping in touch with several BL girls during the weeks in between meetings.
  65. I chatted (IM) way less.
  66. I did a few little drawings
  67. I died many times…
  68. I learned to trust God more.
  69. I became more whole in some ways.
  70. I surrendered to God in ways I didn’t know I could.
  71. I got to experience autumn in upstate New York.
  72. I read lots and lots of books to Esther
  73. I stopped many sibling fights.
  74. I helped in Nursery.
  75. I helped clean up from several fellowship meals.
  76. I cleaned the church.
  77. I went canoeing a few times.
  78. One of my best friends was sentenced to five years in prison.
  79. My mom got in a car accident and had to have therapy for months.
  80. I’ve been splitting time between work and home.
  81. I learned a new specie of birds–Sterling Jay.
  82. I learned to worship God more freely.
  83. I went to several BNI meetings and subbed for various people.
  84. I wrote poems.
  85. I learned new songs.
  86. I climbed trees.
  87. I wrote letters.
  88. I cried harder.
  89. I laughed louder.
  90. I smiled more meaningfully.
  91. I thought more than ever.
  92. I learned more of living in the moment.
  93. I learned that I have the gift of intercession.
  94. I went to PA with Hannah.
  95. I learned new games.
  96. I started sponsoring a child.
  97. I sponsored 5 Bibles.
  98. I ate cattail stems.
  99. I learned something of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
  100. I learned to love God more.
  101. And too many other things to list.