Monday, March 29, 2010


Open-faced fried egg sandwich. Grapefruit juice. Front porch. Porch swing with my coma blanket. Writing papers for American Heritage. Margo playing Coldplay on the piano. Justification through undeserved grace. Sending emails in code to Morgan. Telling the Gospel with my life. Cooking lessons from Shannon ("I'll make a kitchen woman out of you yet... Wait, actually no"). Homemade pizza. The Velveteen Rabbit. Writing out my testimony. Jumping into the creek. Twice. Massively cutting the top of my foot. Sitting with Shannon at her kitchen table drinking coffee. Grace and glory. An improv ballad on guitar and harmonica. .:Feeling alive:.

Oh what will tomorrow bring?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life is one charming rouse for us lucky few.

On Thursday afternoon Bond and I spontaneously had a picnic of banana pancakes and coffee in the courtyard of Olds. Every time a jet went by, cutting a trail across the perfect blue skies, we both started laughing. The beauty of it surprised us. That afternoon it was the same. I watched the ripples of water on the pond and started laughing. Yesterday morning I stepped outside, looked left at the sun rising over the IM fields and started laughing. Everything is glinting and sparkling and glowing and in motion. Even the planet that we're standing on is spinning, twirling in a lilting way through the universe. Even right this moment, on the floor in my messy wreck of a room drinking lukewarm coffee with cold feet looking out at white skies with Shannon and Wesley both sleeping on the beds. (side note: I don't know why, but people frequently show up at my door and ask if they can take naps in my room, and considering how strangely uncomfortable and self-conscious human beings are about falling asleep in the presence of others, I'm hoping that this trend is a good indication of my character. Or perhaps just a quirk. But in truth, odd as it sounds: I have always wanted to be the welcoming kind of person around whom people feel safe falling asleep.) Just think about the complexities and harmonies of human voices! Just the thought makes me laugh in surprise. This weekend I heard the testimonies and asked for the stories of a lot of girls on campus that I don't get to talk to on a regular basis. I wondered how many other stories, how many other souls I have overlooked. It reminds me of that Willa Cather quote: "Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves." The world is covered in people in a hundred different shades of pride and self-expression and ambition and conviction. More Willa Cather: "The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one's own." My floor is covered in paper and magazine clippings and pictures in a hundred different shades of color. I'm exhausted and haven't showered, yet life never ceases to be beautiful. Things are slipping into and out of place in perfect chaotic order, and every moment of this day has been written into it for all of infinity. Psalm 77 has been on my heart all weekend: "You are the God who works wonders." I heard frogs this week, and flew kites, and made art, and wrote papers, and scribbled in margins, and walked barefoot, and ran through mud, and watched stars come out one by one, and peeled oranges. God worked these things into existence and inwrote beauty and wonder in them. Therefore I never want to take for granted the way you laugh in surprise, the way your hands move, the way the sun feels on my face the second it comes out from behind a cloud. I never want to take for granted color and words and the underlying love and admiration that I can see in your face when you look at me sleepily. I never want to take for granted the relief in your voice when you say hello to me. I never want to take for granted the self-forgetting passion that rises in the voices of my professors when they start ranting on the importance of a single sentence. Grace has taught me to laugh in surprise. I hope to heaven that I don't miss another second of this life. "My hair smells of the wind and I move about this earth with a healthy disbelief." God works wonders.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Life continues to be:
Strawberry popsicles.
The sound of frogs.
Sidewalk chalk.
Waking up this morning to see the sunrise even though I went to bed at 1.
Red fire hydrants.
Jet trails.
Frisbee at Lake Baw Beese.
Lessons about encouraging others even when I am not encouraged.
Reminders about choosing joy.
Thursday morning 7 o'clock peanut butter surprises.

Monday, March 15, 2010

[Clumsily] Growing into grace.

"She loves life and she lives it well / Her Savior shall proclaim Himself forever / I watch her, how she lives her life / So different from how I live mine / No equal in intensity / No rival in her passion / She is different / That smile wins me every time / Her laughter echoing with mine, eyes closed / Good day, bad, I can love her always / Never knew a love like this that never fluctuates." (Megan Moss)

I've been watching and learning from my mentors Sarah and Shannon throughout their senior year: little me walking in their huge footsteps. We've been involved in the Hillsdale Christian Fellowship together, I've had countless coffee dates with both of them, we've prayed together, I've cried with them, we've shared testimonies, they've kept me accountable. I once spent four hours on Sarah's roof with her spilling out my guts and listening to her talk about sovereignty in disbelief. These women have fought me--relentlessly--on every attitude and opinion I ever thought I held. They've challenged me to pursue Biblical womanhood since before I knew what that meant.

It startles me how far God has brought me from the place where I was six months ago. From barely attending church to genuinely thirsting after the Word. From resentment and indignation about Calvinist theology to this newfound humility and acceptance of God's sovereignty. From indifference about marriage and family to actively preparing my heart for my future responsibilities as a wife and mother. From scrambling to figure out "where I stood" on marriage and manhood and womanhood to pursuing the Biblical model that I stubbornly rejected for so long.

I could go on and on and on. I am definitely not the person I planned to become. On the contrary, I still have selfish moments when I wonder whether this is really "me." And, to be honest, it's not. It's not me. It's Christ. But, weighing all my options, I'd rather be like Christ.

Today I realized something: at the close of my freshman year, after six months of watching Sarah and Shannon live their lives, they are now watching me. This afternoon, as I brought Sarah up to speed on everything I've been thinking, out of the blue she told me to start praying for girls that I can disciple next year. She said that God has answered all her prayers for me, that I have exceeded her expectations, and that I inspire her. It blows me away. It's impossible to me that Sarah thinks I'm ready for this. Even after getting to know me and all my faults she still thinks I can fill her role on campus? Impossible.

Suddenly I have found that this mantle of Godly womanhood--something I barely realized only a few days ago that I even want--has already been thrown over me. I'm covered in grace that doesn't fit right, grace too big for me, a reputation too good for me, wisdom too wise for me, grace-filled footsteps that don't make sense when you understand that I have two left feet. I don't know what to do with what I've been given. I don't know how to fill Sarah and Shannon's roles. I don't know how to be like Christ. I am startled to realize who I am suddenly preparing myself--who Sarah and Shannon have been preparing me--who God has been planning for me all along--to be. I am dumbfounded when it comes to how that will look like in my life.

God's about to show me.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:16

("She loves life and she lives it well / Her Savior shall proclaim Himself forever")

Monday, March 8, 2010

Be Engedi.

I was reading Song of Solomon this weekend, when the woman refers to her lover as Engedi.

Engedi is an oasis.

That single verse, that single word, knocked the wind out of me and captured my imagination. I want to be that. I want to be a fresh, secure oasis even when the rest of life is a desert. Especially in the context of marriage. I want to be that one safe place, overflowing with grace and laughter and restfulness and respect and wisdom and encouragement and inspiration and joy and and risk and wonder and surprises and adventure. By the grace of God and as much as humanly possible, I want to be his Engedi.

In the meantime, I've been throwing my heart at Christ. Recklessly. Relentlessly. And that is what I want to do every hour of every day for the rest of my life.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What I Thought I Wanted.

A lot of my plans have gone askew these past 10 days. Papers didn't work out so well. A piano performance opportunity that I wanted so much it hurt went to someone else. I got a job as an RA in a dorm that I had never even really heard of before I stepped inside for my interview. Just things like that.

And I will make no pretense that I have been enduring all of these mild disappointments with perfect joy and contentment. I wish I could say that, but I am not sanctified gracefully. However, I've been praying for joy and inspiration and God has given it over to me in abundance. I am genuinely excited for the rest of this semester, my sophomore year, and even this summer. I keep finding myself excited about the challenges ahead, the setbacks that will humble me, and experiences that will test and refine my dependence on Christ. That attitude is all God. Not me. Today I can say: I am thankful for everything that God has handed me these past few weeks. Truly thankful.