Anchors Aweigh

Beach time…
My schedule has been, work day, beach day, work day, beach day…
how amazingggg is that!?
{{and friends made it even BETTER! then ICE CREAM made it even AWESOMER}} 


It was great to just…BE

I didn’t HAVE to DO, or SAY, I love the beach for that reason. I can just breathe and BE.

Laying on my towel yesterday, hearing the rush of the wind through the trees and the waves crashing upon each other, God just talked.
Like, you know how you don’t have to pursue Him, cause He’s always pursuing you…this was one of those days when I felt that.

Just talking to Him is refreshing…cause there’s always so much on my mind, and Mi Amor couldn’t come to the beach with me to get it out verbally…
I  have found that, in the words of Mattie Montgomery
“We get so wrapped up in doing things FOR God,
we forget to do things WITH God.”

One of my favorite ways to connect with God is enjoying what He created.
That’s just another reason I love traveling-
exploring more and more of what He created me to see.

I’m gonna miss this connection while I’m in Grand Rapids…no bonfires, or millions of fireflies, or vast starry skies.
I’ll have to find some new escapes with Him.

Sometimes, I feel like me working on my heart is a big joke.
Its one of my priorities this summer, even though it should be all the time…but, like at points I can be SO in awe of Christ, and then…other times I get so distracted…and sometimes, its even in the same moment.

This is me; translucent as ever;
These are my anchors:
\\lust//

~riches~

*vanity*

+desires of travel+

>pride<

{{envy}}

Tomorrow, I am getting a foot tattoo
Anchors Aweigh”
It is a sailor term, meaning that the anchor is being lifted from the sea’s floor.
I’m using it as a reminder for God to strip me of the anchors of my life; those holding me from sailing all the waters He has for me to explore.

Cool things is, even if I feel like a hypocrite and a joke at points,
God still just wants me. He wants my heart despite my anchors.
I really really really just wanna hug Christ sometimes…

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{{So Many Thoughts}}

Today, my dad spoke an amazing message at church about the role of women, in singleness and marriage. 

Here’s my heart;
like always, I’m going to be translucent…

The saying “Behind every great man, there’s a great woman” is actually quite inspiring to me.

My mom has always been a great role model for showing respect. My parents have taught me a lot about what marriage should look like, according to the Biblical standard. 

I understand that being a wife, a Biblical wife, is hard work.
To serve

To uplift
To be faithful to
To strengthen
To be a helpmeet
To compliment
To encourage
To love
To respect  

Need I go on? 

I truly desire to be in this challenge. But more than that…I want to make Mi Amor’s life easier and better.
My dad spoke today on Genesis 2:18
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 

{Helper} to put into perspective, means to make the job easier.
I want to make life better for him.

I want to be his ‘Ein Gedi’
{Song of Solomon reference}
his oasis.
I want him to tell me even the little events of his day.
I want to comfort him and laugh with him.

I’m looking forward to him teasing me about the way I say words.
Making cheesecakes for our friends.
Decorating our house.
Seeing the process of every art project he works on.
There’s so much more I am anticipating.

I’m gonna be moving away to Grand Rapids and I’ll be living there 5 months without him. I know it’ll be fine, we’ll just have to adjust to the circumstances…
~~~

There’s a lot to learn in my ‘singleness’ {unmarried} life.
I’ll have the adventure of a lifetime learning how to be the best I can be for Mi Amor.
Working on my inner self is where it all starts.
Patience with this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

My prayer life needs work, so I’ve been praying for patience for both Mi Amor and I.
~~~

I’ve been hearing God deeply speak;

“Come away with Me,
with all your heart”

It’s pretty powerful, and ‘with all my heart’ is a bigggggg request.
my heart needs work,
but as I wait and try moving forward,
I’ve found I have a lot more self-consciousness to overcome.

More and more roadblocks arise as I realize my need for change;
to line myself up with God’s desires is a huge feat.

…this path is hard,
but I continue on daily.

Refined Character: Humility

Interestingly enough, God answered my prayer…

Ever find it perplexing knowing that when God answers your prayers, it may actually be a “No” or “Later”?

I prayed for change…
It hurts to change.
I’m being stripped of my pride…
I never thought of myself as a prideful person, until I realized the hurt I was experiencing was due to my own actions.
In the process of a prideful fit, the Spirit was showing me the right path and I stubbornly crossed my arms and refused to lighten up.
My life sucked for three days

Sure, I covered well, but on the inside, my heart was aching so hard.
I was a confused mess and was trying to deal with a waterfall of emotions…
Going from calm streams to rapids is quite the transition.

 I’m beginning to realize how difficult the balance is that we are called to be.
Unselfish, but with thinking yourself valuable; not worthless.
Loving, but understanding the various ways to show it.
Prayerful, but not ignorant of the actions needed to be taken.

The list goes on…

Amidst my conflict, I realized how much this is preparing me for marriage.
Sure, it’s probably years away–but that’ll give me plenty of practice in the meantime.

How wonderful it is, this time of the year to see guys carrying flowers.
To see women with sparks in their eyes.
There literally is “Love in the Air” 

I admire Valentine’s day because its a reminder, amongst other things, of once again forgetting yourself and focusing on your relationships.

Unselfishly serving Mi Amor is going to take some time.
I am so selfish, all too often.
But, just like Christ, I won’t go into marriage to be served, but TO serve.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them…15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Practicing this lifestyle now, will help me with all the relationships in my life.
Christ is my perfect example of humility…

I am so slow sometimes…Its awesome He still loves me.

Attack of it!

So, I sorta got attacked with other things, so here’s a post from a blog I follow.

This summer I got empty.

I wasn’t tired.

I wasn’t drained.

I didn’t melt down or burn out.

I got empty.

And it was awesome.

Since Stuff Christians Like started in March of 2008, things have been busy. I wrote a million words on four different blogs. I published three books. I contributed to half a dozen other books. I gave 100 different speeches across the country.

In order to do that, I had to turn my head into an idea factory. I had to train myself to see content all day. I had to learn to ask, “Is that a post right there? Is that conversation something for a book? Is that experience something for a speech?” Over and over again, I hustled and sprinted and crafted word after word, idea after idea.

And I loved it. Figuring out how to keep a blog fresh and creative is a fun challenge. Starting a new blog is fun. Writing books is fun. And with each word I wrote, I learned how to figure out new challenges. How do you write a Christian satire book and then jump shelves to the business career section? How do you write a 2 minute speech that has to be funny, insightful and complete? How do you be funny on command without being fake?

I’d throw my head at each new challenge that came along and most of them I could figure out. Some I failed, some went well, but every one had one thing in common: I would eventually figure it out.

But this summer, I decided to take a break when I went on vacation. In the past, I’d lie to myself. I’d say, “I’m an idea guy! Coming up with new ideas is how I like to relax!” Then I’d sit on a chair on the beach and scribble down new blog ideas. Or I’d read a book about self-improvement or branding or hustle. Then I’d come home from vacation and express shock that I did not return refreshed.

This year, instead of doing that, I just got empty. I stopped writing down ideas. I stopped trying to “get ahead” by deleting emails in my inbox on vacation. I didn’t do anything but play with the kids on the beach and hang out with my wife. I got empty. And into that emptiness I felt like God had some space to whisper again.

Maybe I’m the only one who has a loud life, but I have my doubts. Chances are you’re digesting more content than you ever have before right now. You’ve got books and blogs and Twitter and Facebook and a thousand other sources of information in your head. You’ve got family commitments and work commitments and meetings and reminders and tasks and activities and soccer for your kids and church commitments and … it’s exhausting.

We spend an extra month at work more than people in past generations did. Let me repeat that.

You and I found a way to work an additional month every year. I put that stat from a Harvard economist in my book Quitter because it’s terrifying.

We are busy and loud and, if we could just figure our lives out, things would be better.

That was what I thought as I sat on the beach this summer, but something was bothering me. Something wouldn’t leave me alone, day after day.

I couldn’t figure out the ocean.

Every day, the beach was different. The tide came up to a different place each day. High tide and low tide were never identical from one day to the next. The waves were never the same each day. The tidal pools shifted and moved each day. I tried as hard as I could to predict where to put our chairs, based on figuring out the day before, but each new day was different.

I couldn’t figure out the ocean.

Standing there on the shore one afternoon, it hit me. I didn’t see handwriting in the sand or God’s words in the clouds, but it felt like he reminded me of something simple. I felt like he poked into my heart and said,

“You think the ocean is difficult to figure out? You think the ocean is complex? I put my breath in man. Quit trying to figure yourself out. Quit trying to figure out how life works. Just be with me.”

In other words, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I like action. I like motion. I like productivity and effectiveness. Stillness is not sexy to me. It is not something that comes easy to me. Emptiness is something I fight, not invite.

And yet, there it was and there it is. An invitation to be still and quiet and present to the big things that a big God is unfolding in his way at his time at his pace.

I love to write. I love to speak. I love the meager bit of talent God’s given me to share with folks. But I’m learning that when I refuse to be quiet or empty, I miss so many important things. And that, ultimately, “be still” wasn’t a casual suggestion. It was a command. And it’s one I want to obey.

Question:
Is it ever hard for you to be still?

 

Burning Affliction

….Hold me, Lord….

“When I’m losing,
When I’m broken
When I’m sinking like a stone
And it feels like I’m alone
I will worship You

When I’m so scared,
Life is unfair
When I’m tired and lose my way,
When I’m feeling so ashamed
I will worship You

You are the anchor to my soul,
Draw me to You and don’t let go
Only Your love can make me whole
Jesus, I worship You

When I’m dancing,
When I’m hopeful
When I’m feeling mercy’s hand
And I’m living life again
I will worship You

When chains are broken,
When healing is coming
When Your forgiveness floods my heart,
This is my brand new start
I will worship You

You are the anchor to my soul,
Draw me to You and don’t let go
Only Your love can make me whole
Jesus, I worship You

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, our God reigns

I hate feeling down-in-the-dumps.
Everybody knows when I am, cause it’s so opposite of normality.

No matter what, I can’t hide my true self,
even when I feel its best for those around me,
I’m too translucent.
These are Translucent Times;
I’m hurting
and it’s making me want to
run,
from everything,
just leave it all,
and go.

But,
in spite of it all,
I will worship Him.

Imperfection In Perfection

I’ve been thinking…
I went to the Sunday service at the church whom I play lead guitar for, in their college group.
The pastor’s sermon hit me.
hard.
I love it when that happens.
Sometimes, I hate it.

Here are some of his points:

Whether you miss the bus by 2 minutes or 2 hours, you still missed this bus.

We often grade on a curve; “compared to him, I’m a pretty great person”

Everything changed in Genesis 3; from beautiful perfection, to horrific disaster.

We’re worse than flip-flops at a formal affair.

We stand condemned; We’re all on death row.

To appreciate the goodness
of the Good News,
you need to understand
the badness of
the bad news.

If we down-play sin,
we down-play God.

 His points hit me.
I often do this-

think to myself, I’m doing good, I serve in a band, I serve my church, I talk to God like He’s human-formed still, I strive to pursue Him, I tell others about Him, I tithe, I have a compassion child….the list goes on…
Some of these, anybody can do.
Some of them, Christ followers act on.
But all of them, can come from my messed up life.

I am messed up,
I am a worm;
 a wretch;
,Sarah. 

There’s so much wrong with my life,
yet He loves me,
and He holds me as I get back on track.

It sucks.
I love being held by Him, but I let Him down

I hate being human.
I want more out of life,
wait,
I want to GIVE more life.
How can I assist mi dulce Salvador
in His work?
It’s more than giving out tracts
and wearing Jesus t-shirts.

I want to have that “Crazy Love” that He has for me.
I know I can never, EVER, duplicate it,
but I want to pursue perfection.

 I’ve been distracted.
Horribly.

In the pursuit of loving God,
I got distracted with

  • Impatience
  • Desire
  • Job
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Tears

Why?

It really doesn’t make sense to me,
I’ve tried, but I fail.
I know I do.
But, just like in my job,
if I make a mistake,
I try not to dwell on it,
I try to learn from it and catch it’s entrance next time.

I had time before work this morning, to pray, and talk with mi dulce Salvador.
I pressed the pause button on my unimportant day to bask in His perfection.
My lunch break, I re-read the fifth chapter of “Crazy Love”.

.It rocked.

God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward.
He measures our lives by how we love…
‘if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love. I gain nothing.’

So, here I am.
In awe.
I need to act with a crazy love; absurd love; insane love
in the context of how unusual it is, because it’s so fierce.

I will spend my lifetime getting to know this love,
how it works,
and how to daily live it.
I’m willing though.
I’m ready.

 

Little Escape

After a great day in the pharmacy, I came home and went for a bike ride with mi dulce Salvador.
It was sunset, so the lighting was kinda sad for pictures, but perfect for riding.
The air was brilliant.
And the colors of the trees, visually appetizing.
The sky was a comfort.
And the excercise, invigorating. 

Yeah…they turned out NOTHING like the reality of the adventure.