Saturday, May 31, 2014

the song



There’s no glamour in long days of petty tasks, nor in dark nights alone between cold sheets when it hurts to think and to remember, and you have to work hard to come to grips with the fact that there’s no Mom and Dad’s room to run to when it feels like the black might swallow you up. You heave your sobs silently, though you know well that there is no one there to hear them—as if afraid to break the sacred silence of an empty house. Others sang and danced, but the King asked you only for a whispered, melancholy tune so quiet in the din that only He could hear it, and you wish that that could be enough. Perhaps it was not your inability that kept Him from giving you the grandest solo, but your very need to be heard; perhaps He knew that before He could entrust to you a greater part, He must first address your doubts that a line of music so feeble could ever have a place in a song so great.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014



Gdale4Gdale5Gdale Gdale2Gdale6 Gdale7

I spent lazy hours in silent sunshine by the creek, watching a moment of my own childhood from a strange third-person point of view while Amy and Dad caught rainbow trout. The first cattle drive of the year crested the ridge on Hill Road, and I thought how in an alternate existence I might have been a cowgirl, following the plodding herds up to their summer range in the mountains on early Saturday mornings. I breathed the chilly west wind and felt orchard grass heads slapping my elbows, cold irrigation water spraying down my back. My horse tucked her head into my chest for one of her sweet hugs when I left, and I gave her white star a kiss.

Thursday, May 22, 2014



I hate to be vulnerable.

I don’t know why it’s always been so easy for me to lay my heart open raw on this screen, why I can somehow pretend here that there is no one reading my scariest and most honest thoughts… I suppose I deem the Internet so clotted with other voices that my own little whisper will be safely drowned out, so I will say things here that I might never have the courage to speak anywhere else.

Yet as much as I dread to be heard, I think I dread more that I won’t be.

This laying open, this flaying away of my heart’s iron shell hurts almost as much as the sin and pain I would conceal. Sunlight pierces the darkest parts of my soul, blinding me with the purity of Him against the blackness of me. Hard questions, hard truths chip and chisel till I’m bare, till my flesh lies prone under the sculpting blade, braced against the fear that He might suddenly throw away His careful work in favor of one justifiably angry strike.

But instead of a blade in my chest, there is a soft touch and a gentle voice, and I suppose they must have been right when they said that “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace…

Confidence, in this pose of defenselessness? Confidence, as I lie helplessly guilty before the God of the universe? Is this how it will feel when I stand before His throne at the end?

…so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I have pushed relentlessly on the mortal strength of my own sinful heart for so long. I am panting for Him, but He cannot water an ironclad soul—not because He is unaware of its contents, but because I have ignored them. To see Him as He is requires me to first see myself as I am.



Deserving of wrath.



Sunday Shoots 306-2

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Friday, May 16, 2014



G-Gup2 G-Gup3 G-Gup4G-Gup5

I will forever have a soft spot for fluffy orange kitties.

israel 2013

Tel Aviv5Tel Aviv12-2Tel Aviv6Masada Arad24 Galilee2 Galilee10 GolanHeights Herodian14 OldCity14 Jerusalem2TempleMount
A whole year ago already? Wow. I still remember the smell and feel of Tel Aviv air, the delicious coolness of the Mediterranean after hours and hours of traveling. I remember the odd lurch of my camel rising up onto all fours underneath me and the fascination of eating food with my fingers, seated on the ground in a tent with a half dozen feral cats lurking nearby. The tickle of sweat pouring down my back while hiking down the snake trail at Masada and the sting of the salt and minerals of the Dead Sea around my lips, despite keeping my head well above water. The perfect stillness of a pink sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, the lush green humidity of the Golan Heights and the Tel Dan Nature Reserve, the acres and acres of golden hills rolling away from every side of the Herodian. In Jerusalem—my favorite place—Ben Yehuda Street came to life with music and dancing every night; the narrow alleys of the Old City buzzed with spice-scented markets and a tangle of Hebrew, Arabic, and English conversations; the Temple Mount stood in a kind of reverent silence, broken by soft voices and Muslim prayers.

I go through my pictures and that sense of awe comes back… that incredible realization that this is God’s holy land. It draws me in, and I ache to see it all again.

Monday, May 12, 2014

one year


On May 12, 2013, I cried.

I cried when I saw my classmates’ families pouring into the auditorium at Grace Church of Sebring, and when I saw dozens and dozens of my own adopted Floridian family there too. I cried (for laughing) when David gave me the “Almost Perfect” award. I cried, for real, when Pastor Aaron picked apart both my strengths and weaknesses with his alarmingly excellent discernment, and when Pastor Randy gave us his final charge—his parting words to the thirteen disciples he had made before he sent them out into all the world.

I thought it would be harder to come to grips with the fact that three hundred and sixty-five days have already passed. In them, I’ve watched my GCBI brothers and sisters change the lives of third-graders, young adults, Mongolians, senior citizens, and more. Perhaps the hardest thing for me to accept is how little I feel that I’ve accomplished, how empty my own record still seems… how hard my heart still is to the idea that maybe God has purposefully put me in a smaller sphere than I would have liked, that perhaps even King David was better fit to raise up a godly son than to build Yahweh a temple.


I wonder sometimes—does life get ever harder, or am I just climbing a particularly rugged slope right now that will plateau soon? I suppose there are new challenges every day and with every new season in life. I suppose God’s work in us is never done, and after He’s knocked out contentment it comes time to work on pride, idols, self-reliance, discouragement, and all that good stuff.

I flatter myself that I’m learning at least a few seconds faster than I used to.


Friday, May 9, 2014

i can’t find the words


PrettyPretty6Pretty3 Pretty4 Pretty5Pretty2

I’m not sure I’ve ever found writing so hard. Even to put down a few feeble sentences, I have to shut off my computer monitor so I won’t have to see how stupid the words look coming from my fingertips. Once, I could fill whole notebooks with a dull-tipped pencil that didn’t even have an eraser, never questioning the worthiness of a single sentence. I thought I was supposed to be good at this... were my eyes closed when the synonymy of “ability” and “ease” broke?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

miss emily


Em2_pp2 Em4_pp Em5_pp Em21 Em23 Em24 Em26_ppEm28Em40_ppEm29_pp Em30_ppEm41_pp Em42 Em48_pp Em49

I’ve known this sweet girl for a long time, and there is one big huge thing I love about her: she is in love with Jesus. From ministry adventures like Operation Barnabas to the more mundane tasks like cleaning and cooking for church events, Emily is a true bondservant of Christ, and somehow she does it all with a smile on her face. I just know she’s going to do a lot of cool things for the Kingdom. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

time hurts


Pretty7 Pretty8 Pretty10 Pretty11

I wish I could bottle up that smell, that beautiful combination of tilled earth and fruit blossoms, of prairie winds and fresh dew. It’s the smell of walking to the irrigation field at sunrise and of jeans wet to the hip from trudging through tall hayfields. It’s the smell of crisp blue skies held up by white mountain pillars on every corner. It’s the smell of home, a smell that transports me back to a strange amnesic state in which the last several years are erased—in which I fully expect to open the front door and find all four of my siblings still at home, Amy still a toddler, and Lenny still alive.

Time hurts today.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...