Sunday, November 21, 2010

monster vs the king


i've created a perfect monster.

this monster prevails because it is the unattainable me. i confess to giving it its power. it is perfection in all of its gloriously terrifying shapes, haunting me daily. it tells me, with whiter teeth and nicer clothes, that i have much to be desired: my attitude isn't happy enough, my desires aren't pure enough, my love-not faithful or true enough.

the words of this monster cut me to the core, shatters my identity, and leaves me picking up the pieces.

i self examine...
and re-examine...
and find it all to be true.

my motives are flawed.
my attitude, a sorry sight.
my love, conflicted.

i begin the beatings:
you are a failure.
you don't deserve it.
you can't.
you won't ever measure up.

i demand more from myself:
give more
love more
worship more
read more
write more
create more

where does this get me?
not living like a daughter of the king.

abba, in you there is freedom from this monster, from these lies. this life isn't about being perfect, its about the beauty you create out of our imperfections. let me live into your kingdom today. make me beautiful.

make me a daughter of the king.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ask. seek. knock.


i am a daughter of the king.

but i sit knees tucked up to my chest with my face in my palms. like a shameful child, i hide away, recognizing my insufficiency and pain. i have no where left to turn...

but to you.

slowly, i unclench my hands and turn them face up. with head bowed, one word slips out in desperation:


you know me. immediately. intimately. even though i am numb, i feel your presence. you answer me:

"ask. seek. knock."

slowly i unveil my shame, my hurts, my desires.

i am known.
i am loved.

i am a daughter of the king.

matt. 19:14
jesus said, "let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Monday, November 15, 2010

beautiful feet

SOTD: wilder mann by woima collective

romans 10:15b:
as it is written, "how beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news."

what does having beautiful feet look like? "bring" makes me believe that it's feet who are well-traveled, or at least a little dirty. there's action involved, not just sitting around. i think these feet aren't beautiful in the worlds eye, they aren't miss america's feet, that's for sure. these feet have stories behind them, stories of suffering, but also the stories of the faithfulness and goodness of the one who keeps the feet protected during the varying terrain.

and these feet bring good news. what good news am i bringing to people? am i always bringing good news? or am i bringing stories that destroy and cut down?

oh jesus, may you make my feet beautiful today.

(also, i would someday love to henna my hands and feet. sooooo lovely.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

living into the story


the word that makes everyone an individual.
the most important part of humanity.
the bane of our existence.

i love stories, as i assume most everyone does. movies, books, music, jokes, conversations, all center around a story. some are real stories, some a imaginary stories, some are a mix of both. and as any writer knows, good stories center around some sort of change. for a story to be successful, it has to have some sort of connection to the reader/listener/viewer.

understanding the importance of story can make people more compassionate. this is true for me especially when it comes to music. i think that music is the most personal ways that people tell their story because not only do musicians write lyrics about how they feel or experience things, but then they put music behind it which creates mood and feeling through sounds. this gives the listener more ways to connect to the song.

switching gears a tad...

as a human, i know how easy it is to be totally absorbed in my own story. having my own story makes me feel like i can be in control of at least one thing in this world. sometimes, it's easy to forget about other people and that they have stories too. this is especially true when it comes to driving: someone cuts you off and they immediately become "that idiot" when really they are probably just trying to make it in their own story. coming to this realization that other people's stories are just as important as mine happened when i started thinking more creatively about people that i encounter.

i thought about the story behind:

the man carrying a cross over the i205 bridge.
the barista who served me coffee.
the man walking down 78th street with a parrot on his shoulder.
the teenager walking to school wearing a green army helmet.

these people have stories and experiences that i will probably never know, but the fact that they are carrying crosses, serving me coffee, having parrots hanging out on their shoulders, and wearing green army helmets, makes me realize that they got to that place by a lot of experiences and choices, just as i am where i am because of experiences and choices that i've had in my life. this knowledge makes me compassionate.

it also makes me realize how little i am in the big picture. culture is made by stories of a collective group. even though i am just a little story, i am living into many bigger stories.

these are the stories of:
my faith
my marriage
my family
my friends
my church
my job
my community
my city
my state
my country
my world

by recognizing how interconnected i am with so many stories, i realize how important my life is. i have a great responsibility to live into other people's lives and live out my faith in all of those spheres.

(these thoughts were based on the discussion at my home community last night: deut. 6:2-9 (the shema), ps. 78:1-8, and this sermon becoming bilingual with the gospel and the word.)