The appearance of wildflowers.

I’ve been stuck and not quick to admit it. I thought I could haphazardly pull myself out of this creative slump with reading and listening to music and Pinterest boards (first mistake), but I am seriously stuck in the mud and not wanting or willing to figure out what the heck it’s going to take to get out of it.

They say that comparison is the thief of joy. Well, expectation is right up there with it.

I have inconsistently tried to authentically come before Jesus. Ideas of 2 hours in prayer and Scripture every day, combating darkness, and having these long, drawn out conversations with Jesus have ultimately fallen through (hence why this is the first post in about 3 weeks). It’s easier to come before Jesus and tell Him we’ve failed Him than to step into society and display our failure, which shows the parts of my life that are idolized.

I pray for this simplicity and this childlike heart that draws me back to that desire of being deeply intimate and exposed to God.

So take me back, back to the beginning, when I was young, running through the fields with you.
So take me back, back to the beginning, when I was young, running through the fields with you.
So take me back, back to the beginning, when I was young, running through the fields with you.

When I hear these words, I am automatically wrapped in to Matthew 6:30-33 (the Message version has been rocking my world):

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

// MATTHEW 6:30-33 MSG

I think we all are drawn to the idea of being taken care of; some people just don’t show it, but it’s deep down there somewhere. These words settle me and calm me down because I know I have a God who has hemmed me in, before and behind. He cares for me. He cares for you. And He finds that to be such a beautiful and important job. I love that. He doesn’t want us to be jumbled messes or preoccupied with getting or worrying about if our everyday needs will be met. That’s His job. I imagine Him sitting up there like a caring father, watching us trying to do this whole life thing on our own, and He just chuckles at us, like watching a baby walking and falling for the first time.

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So I have continually prayed to God that I could just lay these expectations down at His feet because when I get wrapped up in expectation, I forget thanksgiving. My world becomes a lot smaller when I feel anxious and expectant for the wrong things and so focused on comparison. My mind instantly goes to critical and anxious and judgmental rather than gracious and joyful and grateful. And I think when I FEEL trapped in that mindset, I lose Him. I lose sight of His provisions. I forget how near He actually is. I forget how to be thankful.

And that part in Matthew 6: “Don’t worry about missing out.” We don’t miss out with Him. I know I’ve talked about it before, but He is a God of ABUNDANCE. He lacks NOTHING. He is more than ENOUGH, which means we lack nothing and we are more than enough because whatever God calls Jesus is what He calls us and I know that’s a mind-blowing concept but Truths have been doing that a lot to me lately (blowing my mind). There have been tiny moments lately where I realize how I see God a little bit differently or feel a little closer to Him because of some words someone said to me or something I realized I was grateful for that I had forgotten to be grateful for for a long time.

I think it’s really easy to get caught up in the dark, and even easier to stay there for a while and keep getting lost. It’s like being in a pitch black house where you wander aimlessly from room to room. There’s the anxiety of what you’re walking into, some doors are locked, some are open, and sometimes the only light you see is when your reflection looks back at you and you don’t like what’s in front of you. You get little adrenaline rushes of I-can-handle-this feelings.

I’d like to think it’s as easy as cracking open a window or turning a light. And at this point in my life, I don’t see this dark house as sorrow or grief or any form of depression. It really just feels like dryness. So it’s like the big dark house is in the middle of the desert. And I think different forms of imagery have drawn me closer to God, when I can imagine moments as metaphors where I get to interact with God in a super intimate or imaginary way.

I find Him in running, which I’ve been doing more of, and depending on Him for that endurance. I find Him in early morning runs in the rain. I find Him in late night runs when the sun is setting. I find Him in all of it. And I think that’s probably the most important thing right now: not that I’m going from being blind to Him to finding Him in absolutely everything, but that I can take one moment at a time and begin to rediscover what I find Him in.

So here I go again trying to predict what season the Lord is going to have me in, because I do feel a transition coming on. There’s a Shauna Niequist quote I have hanging on my wall that goes:

There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming.

And I want this to be a season of wildness. I don’t know what that means. I just know that I feel it. Wildness in a childlike heart. Wildness is actually doing what I want to do and not being afraid to say how I feel. Wildness in running for miles and miles and getting it back. Wildness in actually taking care of myself in a college (hectic) schedule. Wildness in knowing what it means to deal with confrontation and conflict in a Biblical way (<– this is a big one, dealing with conflict would be wild enough for me).

I don’t want to be settled. Everything in me is antsy and wanting more and knowing there’s more. I’m just finally willing to look deeper in myself and find it where the Holy Spirit lives, which is really awesome. And a lot of these words might have been a ton of rambling for you, but it helped me sort out my head and maybe it will help you too. Moral of the story: I don’t want settledness. I want wildness. I want my fire back. And the reality of living with a God who takes such delight in me trumps any expectation I could ever plant in my mind.

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Written at a bar in a coffee shop.

Dang, it has been a while.

Hey friends, I am still alive. I’m making it. I am here. I am happy. And I missed writing way too much.

Things have been so crazy. I’ve been learning a lot. Some things about grace and visual rhetoric (mostly for the exam, but also because I love it more than I had anticipated) and concert planning. It has been a whirlwind, and now I’m sitting back in my favorite coffee shop on a rainy, rainy Mountain Day, which is sad, but also awesome because God was like, “Okay, if you’re not going to stop with the busyness or try and rest a little bit, I’m going to bring it right to you.”

So here we go,

My past embraced. My sin forgiven. I’m blameless in Your sight. My history rewritten. You delight in showing mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment. Oh Love, great Love. Fear cannot be found in You. And there will never be a day, You’re uncertain of the ones you choose.

Blameless. Now that’s a word worth talking about. This week in small group, we talked about how God not only uses Jesus to take all of our sin away, but in its place, He also calls us all the things He calls Jesus. Pure. Holy. Blameless. Righteous. And THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL. It makes me want to run a marathon and dance in the rain and shout it from the rooftops. That is beyond beautiful.

God has used more ways than just small group to teach me about sacrificial love lately, though. I had an AWESOME conversation with my mom on the drive back to Berry last weekend. We don’t generally have conversations about God, but I just asked her, “What’s God teaching you lately?” And it turned into this beautiful, vulnerable, awesome conversation, maybe even the best we’ve ever had. And I cried a little bit and laughed a little bit and smiled a whole lot because my mom is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She loves so sacrificially, and I think I’ve always known that, but our conversation just proved that so much. I gained a new appreciation for the woman my mom is and the woman she has raised me to be because beautiful, strong people don’t just happen. And I’m really grateful for her and that we’ve been able to grow into a relationship with the Lord together. I love that more than anything.

And I’ve been able to step back and tangibly see how Jesus refines and continues to make me beautiful, into a beautiful I can see in myself and actually want to call myself beautiful. Baby steps. Earth-shaking, beautiful baby steps. There are parts of myself that I never realized I didn’t like, but God has been so gracious and sweet in the way He pulls those lies out of the darkness and holds my hand to walk me through them. And I love that. And I love Him.

And today, I woke up, disappointed that it was literally raining on Martha’s parade, but then I remembered something I’ve continued to preach to other people: there is always joy. He is always present. Joy is always attainable. So I settled down, put on my fall clothes, hung out with my family, went to the best coffee shop, and talked to old friends. There is so much joy in seeing people you don’t get to see that often. I forgot how excited I get about that, but it’s true. There’s something so special in those times where I just cherish every minute.

I think we should cherish every minute with every person, but we forget to do that. I think it’s important to make people feel like the center of your world when you’re in conversation with them, and I strive to do that every day, in every conversation. That’s showing selfless love. His love is not selfish, and we shouldn’t be either.

Something I recently learned from a sermon a couple weeks ago was about what it looks like to really read the Bible and not just read it to check it off the list or “learn more,” but to really learn who God is and have this living, active relationship with Him. And I had been reading through the New Testament with study commentary, but then, after hearing that sermon, I realized that it hadn’t really been doing anything for me. I was reading and taking these notes every day, but it was not forming my relationship with God at all. So I stopped. I stopped reading the commentaries and started looking for Jesus’ character and what that meant for me, how I should live my life. And the very first morning, there is was. I had already found something in words that had been so dry to me previously.

bear fruit with patience. // LUKE 8:15 ESV

He isn’t passive with us. He holds on and listens and speaks and moves and lives in our lives every single day, and it is so easy to forget that. He gives us all of Him every single day.

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