devoured #frommyjournal

I’m giving it all to you.
I tried alone. No more.

My chest is covered with electrodes, every beat of my heart recorded. They don’t hurt, but the tape has melted into my skin and every movement reminds me of it.

I never meant to leave you. I never meant to wander.

Never meant to forget to dig in your scriptures. Never meant to wander. Never meant to say the things I wanted so badly to take back.

Never meant.
What did I mean?

I was just trying to live from day to day. To be lonely for my family, for Daniel. I love my cabin, I love Scout, but I want security again. Security in you.

The electrode tape rips from my skin, leaving sticky tape and the smell of sweat beneath. It hurts.

light

Uncertainty happens. I used to think I could escape it. Just wait and life gets better. No longer.

I confess my sins.
I confess you.

Jesus, in your suffering you reached for me. You thought of me. Individually.

You made me who I am. You justified me. I am now the salt of the earth. 
I am your workmanship. I am a temple. I am now chosen, appointed.
 I am light.
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I may approach you in confidence. I have direct access to you, complete,
 made righteous. I am joined to the Lord, one spirit with him.
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And I am secure. I find grace and mercy in time of need. 
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of sound mind, love, and power.
 I am free from condemning charges against me.
 I am delivered from the domain of darkness. I am anointed.
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Established.
Sealed.

I will live scandalously, ridiculously, riskily. I will take every scrap of love and devour it ravenously. I will notice the Jesus things and step out of myself.

I am not my past. I am not my future. I am now.

I am not just hidden. I am devoured by a ravenous Lover.

Jesus, in your suffering you reached for me. You thought of me. Individually.

The electrodes catch every heartbeat, every flutter of my heart. They caught the flutter when I thought of who you are.

i wanna pet lizard

A mangy coyote ran across my path, as well as a herd of elk, black in the dark.

The table of old ranchers behind me are seriously discussing cards and pickups.

Nobody will let me have a pet lizard.

Two baby quail fell down the pipe that holds the gate in place. They fluttered off into the brush as soon as they were rescued.

Flannel shirts, suspenders, and nose rings are the order of the day. It’s 54 outside.

When I grow up, I want a pet lizard.

the faq page is up, finally. tada!

A day in the life of my housemate

First of all, I can sleep through ANYTHING. Very successfully. And my housemate, who works for the forest service, has a nice normal job, and gets up early. Also, to get to our shower, you have to go through my bedroom, which has no door and used to have a curtain, but I was pretending to be Scarlett O’Hara and now I have no curtain.

So she tries to wake me up and it doesn’t work, and when it does, all I said was “You look like a couch” and went back to sleep.

My roommate is a gorgeous, tall blonde. She does not look like a couch. She did, however, in my dream, have on those skinny jeans with the weird floral pattern that DOES look like a couch. But that was in my dream and it came out wrong.

So then we go to work, and I’ve recently graced her Rover with a crocheted squid, so we have a car squid now. So he likes to sing and dance to Gomez and “Come and Get It.” It’s like, 30 minutes to work.

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We tend to hang out with our laptops and write (in my case, medic rules my life, so I’m studying) or eat or watch a movie or something. Generally without talking for hours on end. And I almost always disappear for an unqualified amount of time on a hike.

So that’s our evening. Except one day she came in and I was lying under the table, covered with a blanket, and going aafafalkfaagaa to everything she said. I do this when my blood sugar drops, which I didn’t know was THAT common. So she fed me. A lot. And I recovered enough to sit in a chair like a normal human and say nice humany things like ‘pass the butter’ and talk about how cool the boyfriend’s knife is.

I also tend to eat everything in the house and come home covered in mud and bring the dog in the house and bring sagebrush in and decorate with it.

We’ze besties. We’d have to be.

she also wanders around like this. it’s like living with a tall, blonde heroine. -_-

*no, i am not bipolar. i have some sort of thyroid/blood sugar issue that’s not quite been resolved yet

**RIGHT SCOUT?

One day I decided-

“One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl.  It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.” -Gabby Sibide

Life’s about choices, and perspectives. Forget the glass-half-empty-glass-half-full regime, but what about when you get lost on your way to a new place? You miss a flight? You left the shampoo on the counter AGAIN, and now you’re soaking wet?  Is it an adventure or a curse?

My sister turned 12 this year, and is one of those morning people. Yeah. All cheerful and talkative, and let’s-go-fly-a-kite, and I’m all like “gee-it’s-morning” and feeling my way to the tea kettle.  You know what?  It is HARD to be pleasant and interested in what the cat did last night, or the deep troubles of the other cat, or what Snoopy said in the last Peanuts she read. And Miss Blonde over here can get pretty short, if she’s not careful.  And yes, I did set some boundaries, but think about it. How many 12-year-olds want to hang out with their big sister?  Most girls her age like boys and… boys, I guess, and it’s a big privilege I get to spend time with her. If I’m gone this summer, I won’t be there for her, and she’ll miss me. Which is kinda amazing, now I think it through. So you know what, I’m glad she talks my ear off about the cat every single day. Because I love her.

What about being there for people who hurt you? Like, hurtyoureallybadly? There’s a woman in my life who has said some of the unkindest and cruelest things I’ve ever had anyone say to me.  She’s called me some horrible things.  She hurts my feelings.  And I don’t want to talk to her.  Everyone told me not to, by the way, she’s 70 years old and really should know better.  And I don’t HAVE to be there for her. But one day I realized that I was the only Christian in her life. That I could take being picturesqly and basically called a slut, because I’m the only woman she has in her life, the only Christian, and she needs me. And she wants me to be there for her, even though she hurts me. And I’m bigger than name calling.

By the way, it’s still not easy.

Perspective is bleh, sometimes.

So take a minute.  Decide you’re beautiful. Even if you think you’re the ugliest person in the world – and please don’t tell me you’ve never seen that horrible tag on facebook and said EXACTLY that – decide you’re going to act like you’re beautiful.
Mum gave me some advice. Well, two pieces of advice. One was never wear white shoes before Easter, and the second was that if you couldn’t do right, keep faking it until you did.  Both are good, the second more applicable. Decide you’re nice. Decide today is you’re-going-to-love-people-anyway day.

And who knows. Maybe someday I’ll be a morning person.

Wee people, Bangledesh, and James Bond

I was still in bed this morning, trying hard to focus my mind on the fact it was a Saturday and Ididn’thavetogetup, when my little sister waltzed in the room, obviously in great need of sister time.  We talked a little, very groggily on my part, and the upshot of the matter was that I was showing her Bangladesh on the globe, and explaining exactly where it was, and the area surrounding it.  Why? Because we have a VOM calendar hanging in our bathroom, and every morning we pray for whoever is listed. Today, it was Christians in Bangladesh who are denied wells of water.

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And what about our entirely-girl-sushi-time, when the conversation ranged heavily over whyisthatguystaringatyou, can-I-have-a-milkshake, what are these little calamari-no-fish-eggs-things, how do you know who James Bond is, and no seriously, CAN I have a milkshake?

I bought the poor thing a milkshake.

Influence over wee people. Oh, you mean like the other day when I freakin’ burst into tears because she was brushing her teeth when I wanted to? Well, so much for being 18. Or when I totally burst into tears on my entire family and stomped out of the room. And when I argued with everything. Or when I woke her up because I was crying my eyes out in bed because I was sick.

Uhm. I just realized how much I cry. Greeeeat.

…and sometimes it’s funny.  The wee little girl I babysit sometimes, who took one look at my muscle spasms and started mimicking it. You have NO IDEA how funny it looked to see a 2-year-old look over the back of the pew and start jerking her arm.   We almost disrupted the entire service.

Little people look up to us. Does my little sister see me reading the Bible, studying hard to take exams well, smiling even when I’m mocked to my face, laughing when it’s hard?  Or does she see me rotting my mind in Bon Jovi [and no, I am not dissing Bon Jovi. It is essential to midterms], complaining about my job/my studies/the weather/dinner/who’s playing Enjolras, and the fact I just drank three cups of coffee straight.

Errrhm.

Take the time for your siblings today. Ten minutes of just-you-and-wee-little-person… heck, even if it’s just a phone call or a postcard… it might do the trick.

They need lovin’ too.

utter honesty

There is nothing dreamy or romantic about illness. It is twisting, carnal, writing through the night. It’s pain so intense that sheets tear in spasms. There is nothing lovely in sweat and hot breath and the clammy lint that gathers on the palms of your hands. It is the natural state of man, a worm. Writhing. And so I cried that night. Cried in class… back seat, nobody noticed. Cried because I was scorned, cried because the pain was so intense, cried because I was simply hungry. And I am not very brave, you know.

hands

I’m just a person. I don’t want to hear the whispers of friends who asked the question I didn’t want to hear. “Are you going to die?” I am not afraid of dying. But I am afraid… horribly afraid… of ceasing to live. And how can I climb mountains and elbow my way beneath them when I’m stretched out on the bed? I cannot. I am prisoner to the unknown, to pain.

But here’s the secret – for us. Illness does not define who I am. It does not define who you are. You and I face death everyday. It can scare us  we slam into our driveways and abandon our cars, while we hide behind our curtains as hypochondriacs, terrified, attributing every cough to whooping-cough, every ache and pain to the worst. Or we can shrug off death as a necessary part of life and ignore it. Learn to tune in to the little things, the God things. The friend who sits across from me at Wendy’s and says “hey, uh… could we study the Bible?”, the praise music I have a habit of blasting at anyone who’s driving to school with me, the boss who gives me an extra ‘how are you’, the dad who lets me sit on his lap and cry, Mum’s interested listening to my stories of school.

This is my secret. The story does not end. I am free. Ever since I can remember, I’ve flopped down in the newmown grass and watched the birds. Learned their species. Laughed at the crows chasing off an indignant hawk from their young ones, cupped the tiny bluebird who has been abandoned in my hands and marveled. I am a bird. I am free. And I will live. I will run those mountains again. I will laugh and swing from a grapevine over the cliffs, I will swim up to raging falls found hidden in the woods. I will show a child the marvel of a chrysalis, and lay my head up against the hollow of a poplar tree and hear an owl sleepily answer my voice. And I will not die. I will never die. Who cares about if this body lives or dies. I am alive with a life that is eternal. I am ALIVE.

…All I want to DO with my life.

These words struck deep.

People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.

I found this in a book by one of the most amazing women I have heard of, and one who shares my name. Katie Davis’  book, Kisses from Katie was gifted to me by a certain Grace-woman, and I read the entire thing in a day. The ENTIRE thing. It started quite the thought process.

Individuals. People. One at a time.  On a rightbeforecollegeandweneedtogetgearedup phone call, a friend and I  started talking about goals for life. We’re both young and impetuous. He usually shoves me off cliffs and catches me just in time, and I annoy him mercilessly.

Kate: “Honestly, all I’m good at – is – is… loving people. That’s what I want to DO with my life. LOVE people. Is that lame?”

Person: “To love people well, to live a good life, is a higher purpose and achievement than most people dream of… Many people want to care for their families and be a good person, yes,  but to have it your sole goal to better others above yourself that is the rarer thing.”

And of course he’s right. And my goal for this year is too simply love people. To look at the individual for who they are. To realize that Jesus doesn’t save the clean, he saves the vile, the people with pasts, the peopleonthestreetsmellinglikepot… and I was no better. I AM no better. I’m hiding behind a man with a gash in his side and ripped flesh, which he did for me.

UPDATE: So funny. I had barely penned these words when I realized how much I was being tested. And then I laughed again. I count this a TEST? I am so little.

  • I couldn’t eat. I mean literally had an ulcer and was starving. It’s hard to love when a drink of water has you in the floor in agony.
  • I couldn’t walk. Not without Bob Crutchit, aptly named.
  • I was hated. Literally.
  • An old woman I had repeatedly tried to reach out to turned on me and reviled me to my face. Suck it up, maybe, but it hurt. I’ve tried so hard to love her.

…and the hardest part? I wanted to turn inward. To look at ME, MY hurts, MY wrongs, MY body.

God help me.

I still resolve to love allthepeople. And I resolve that because I am too small to do anything else.

I really mean it. God help me.