PAINTING. Well, I'm going to be..very soon. I've begun to decorate my house (for realz) and I'm off to Lowe's this evening to check out paint. I'm also looking for some antique wingback chairs and....yes....a piano.
taken with my Polaroid Land Camera... my favorite toy.
I wish I could truly explain the love I have for God's creation. I can try but you will never fully understand. As I conquered the fuzzy caterpillar ridden plateau this morning, I realized again how blessed I am to be young and healthy and able to hike and run and just breathe in beauty. I think of my sister and the health issues she's facing and I wonder, how could I ever take for granted the gifts God has given me? How could I ever sell short the desires God has planted within my heart? This world is so corrupt. Outward beauty trips up the soul and we forget about what lies inside. We cultivate and manicure the outside, but on the inside a continuous emptiness abides. Adoption of the norm often goes unnoticed. The world is gray. I look at my reflection in the mirror and realize time is passing and passing quickly. I have many passions in this life. I'll be the first to tell you that I am not skilled. I am not beautiful. I am not perfect. I fall quite short of what this world calls "successful." But, I've felt and feel the presence of God and I wouldn't trade that fulfillment for anything this world has to offer. When I think of God's glory, I think of kids. I remember sitting amongst at least a hundred in Vacation Bible School in Big Bear (outdoor amphitheater), closing my eyes, and feeling tears fall listening to them sing to God. No wonder God wants us to approach him like a little child. As I ran this morning, I cried to God. Why is there so much deception in this life? Why can't we all just shut up and listen? Turn off your ipod...close your mac...get off facebook...and listen. We are so angry when we are not heard...we fret because God doesn't speak. Just stop and listen. Then you will know.
"His love is deeper than my view of grace, higher than this worldly place, longer than this road I travel, wider than the gap He fills"
For most of my life I have been fascinated with the poorest of countries. I've grown up in a nation of great wealth and opportunity. My first ever trip out of the country like most of us Americans, was to Mexico. I remember riding with a group of people in a van and listening to their comments about the awful housing, I was thinking "this is beautiful." I was in awe...and this strange peace overcame my heart. I watched as the ladies did their laundry, bent over and carried water in for their families. I saw children laughing and playing beside the colorful wood that was used to create makeshift housing. When we arrived at our destination, I felt odd...as if we were there "to make a difference." I struggled with the idea of making a difference...feeling this pressure....to make a difference. But, as my friends wandered around an orphanage trying to help out I stayed outside and played basketball in the rain with some of the kids. I gave up on trying to be something for them because deep in my heart I knew what corruption came with wealth and that really, I wasn't better than them..I had just the same amount of pain and struggles in my life..just in a different fashion. I didn't want them to have the wealth. So, it rained and we played and laughed and a few hours in we were covered in mud. I didn't talk much..it was freeing just to play. As we left, later on that day, in my heart was formed a vision for my life. I look at America and I feel pain..pain for what this nation has become. I grew up in a broken family and came out of it completely confused and true love was and still is somewhat foreign to me. I look around me and I see brokenness all over the place...but the funny thing is that people here in America have money...have opportunity..have plenty of people to choose to be around...plenty of things..have everything really...except true love. Now, as the "things" are being taken away our nation is left empty...with nothing left. People are depressed...discontent..worried... because without money what will people do? How will they function? A few years ago I visited Bacolod, Philippines. I met 150 kids who were saved from abuse and neglect and brought up to know and love God by a couple of missionaries who had given every inch of there lives for them. These kids to this day are not rich, do not have everything..they share most things..but they know love. They aren't perfect...but they know truth.
I've found the greatest of all loves is found in God and is found in sacrifice for others. This statement almost sounds silly in the society we live in but it's still true. Jesus on the cross is true love. I remember the story in the Bible and the part where Jesus sat and wept to God...WHYYYYY? If there is any other way!! But He followed God's will. When I was in college I researched religion. I searched all over wondering if I had been duped into believing some "opiate for the masses." I read and read and came to the conclusion that the Bible's teaching was selfless and true....that it wasn't about finding some inner peace by being selfish and "successful" but it was giving of yourself to help another. It was about an eternal peace and contentment which only comes in taking your eyes off of you. I see beauty in brokenness everyday. My adopted mom is one of the most sacrificing women I know and she is so exquisitely beautiful. She has given every bit of her comfort for my little sister and her health issues that have been going on now for about 13 years. In this I see love...and it's not even her biological daughter.
I feel sad for our nation and for the pressures we face everyday to conform but really what makes you beautiful is your uniqueness. Don't be the same. Love others before yourself.