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Monday, November 30, 2015

birthday

The Happiest Happy Birthday to my sweet Mom...

...who taught me how to walk, and how to trust, and how to love beautiful things.

...who is the best mother, teacher, advisor, helper, and friend that I could ever imagine.

...who lives life fully and loves me completely.

...who shows me Jesus.

... who gives the best hugs.

...who makes my favorite meals.

...who puts other people first.

...who makes our home homey.

...who I have so much fun with.

...who can laugh at herself.

...who is absolutely beautiful inside and outside.

...who likes to fix broken things.

...who prays for me.

...who I want so very much to be like.

...who messes up sometimes.

...who forgives me and who teaches me how to forgive.

...who has always made me feel incredibly loved.

...who never gives up on me.

...who I love very very much.


Thanks for being there every single day. Thanks for sleepless nights and long talks. Thanks for all the love you keep on giving. Thanks for being my Mom.

I am deeply blessed :)




Thursday, October 15, 2015

just because

"When we look over God's handiwork, we notice that not everything in our world has a purely functional or instrumental value. Whatever evolutionists may try to say, there are some things that God made just to look nice, or smell pleasant, or sound delightful." 

Robin Phillips



God is not utilitarian.

Sometimes -- a lot of times -- He makes utterly impractical things, instead, and they are good.

Mystery: sometimes the function of something is not as important as the pure, ridiculous beauty of it.

Sometimes efficiency, and usefulness, and common sense, don't. even. matter.



Show me a baby efficiently learning to walk. Or a first kiss that was absolutely practical. Or let me hear some extremely necessary laughter. . .


It's okay to forget about looking for the functions of things sometimes and to just love them for the silly riddles that they are, instead. Sometimes God likes to laugh and so He pours down some snow just because it looks nice. And maybe because people look funny slushing through it, wasting it. With red noses and ears. He gives us immense words, like, "I love you," and littler ones like, "Good morning."  And he gives us perfect smells like the top of a newborn baby's head, and almost-perfect ones, like gardenia. He makes green leaves that decide to turn gold.


And He gets to keep on coming up with this crazy, beautiful stuff. 


God is never moderate. . . Keep watching for the next joke. (This time, it might be you. Or maybe me). And, I'll admit that a moderate world would actually make much more sense. It would be easier to make it through life, with much less hassle along the way. Functionality would rule and utility would answer every question. Hearts would not break. Days would always follow schedule. Nothing unexpected would ever bewilder us.


But no one would ever cry at music. And there would be no time to sit on logs and just wonder.


The world is absurd, and life is absurd, and so laugh. And live sometimes, purely, only, completely, for the sake of living.


Wait, sit, breathe. Be irrationally happy and be absolutely alive. Life is too short to always be levelheaded, especially when God is so busily shaking things up, and turning them upside down, just because He wants to.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

// engraved //

He empties us of ourselves, drains us dry, wrings us out. 


But He never leaves us like that. 


The emptying is so that He can fill us back up with something more wonderful. 


We are graven on His hands and that does not mean we are sitting there, easily and effortlessly. Instead we are engraved there, imprinted there, because He squeezes us so tightly. This hurts because He loves us enough to hurt us. He loves us enough to make us die...enough to put us into the fire, to melt us down, to reshape us into something better. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Loving Well and Living Well

"Slowly the clouds lift. 

What I saw then was tears, a weeping God, suffering over my suffering. I had not realized that if God loves this world, God suffers; I had thoughtlessly supposed that God loves without suffering. I knew that divine love was the key. 

But I had not realized that the love that is the key is suffering love." 

-Nicholas Wolterstorff


Slowly the clouds lift. Sometimes they take a whole life to do that. Sometimes they take years of breathing and hurting and wondering. And we can't ever quite convince ourselves of what we will really see when they are gone. 

There is no way to love well in this life without sometime hurting for it. The more of yourself that you twine into life, the deeper your heart will ache. That is what brokenness in this waiting creation looks like. 

God loves us with the most scandalous and appalling sort of love imaginable. This is what it means for Him to pour out every drop of His wrath on the one Place in all of creation where it was not deserved.  Divine love is a suffering love. And suffering love is, paradoxically, the key to all hope. Hope is born when we know that God lived with us, died for us, weeps with us. Hope is born when we suddenly realize that loving and living well, and suffering for that, will be infinitely worth it.





Friday, September 4, 2015

Born of Wonder

"Philosophy is born of wonder. So is poetry."

Michael O'Brien



Don't separate joy and knowledge. Our hearts were made deep enough for both. 

Gawk at the world as you learn about it. 

Laugh while you philosophize.  

Love every good thing wildly when good things are hardest to find. 

A cynic has a head full of knowledge and an empty heart. A fool has a heart full of joy and an empty head.

Squeeze them both out. Blend them together. A true artist never paints with just one color. 



Friday, August 28, 2015

"The people of God are known at least as much by their loves as they are by their beliefs."

- Dr. Bill Davis

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Beauty is Hope




G.K. Chesterton once said that Christianity is beauty and that it means being able to control a million monsters of ugliness.This is true Beauty, the Beauty that overcomes all darkness. 

This is the Beauty that promises we dont have to do any of it on our own. 

This is the Beauty that saves the world. 

This Beauty is Christ, Himself. It is repentance and forgiveness. It is the Carpenter from Nazareth who fishes for men. It is further up and further in (C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle). It is finding an empty tomb. It is God nailed to a cross with His arms outstretched, so we can know that He is victorious. 

Beauty is forgiving fingers writing in the sand, and righteous hands dropping righteous stones, and a worthless woman looking right into the eyes of Jesus Christ. 

His beauty is wild and it is order. 

It is sacred and it is profane. 

It is good, but it is never safe. 

Beauty means that out of the darkest, deadest, most silent place comes life. The cedars of Lebanon have been slashed and torn to the ground. The stumps are ragged. The sap drips slowly, dying, gone. And there is no hope. But, long after that place has been forgotten, a little living shoot grows out of the deadest stump. And that impossible life is the Branch that will save this world. 



What does this beauty do to us? It shakes us up, it spits us out, it scrapes off our dragon scales. It breaks us. And that breaking is the only thing that can make us whole again.  

How do we make beauty real? 

Love what He loves. 

Make wonderful things with your hands. 

Say true things with your mouth. 

Gaze at good things with your eyes. 

Be hungry for righteousness, and be filled up with mercy, and be pure in your heart. 

Find something that gives you hope and shout it with all of the breath in your lungs. 

Love the real, messy, stained people that get in your way. 

When you look at the world, see deadness, see ugliness, see failures. But see beauty a million times more brightly. Walk on the ancient paths and grab onto the ancient truth. We can survive without science. We can survive without logic. We can survive without politics. We can survive without technology, or practicality, or comfort. But we cannot survive without beauty. Because without beauty, there would be nothing left to do to the world. There is some good in this world and its worth fighting for, wrote Tolkien. Make beautiful things and melt away the darkness. Make beautiful things and know that this old world is waking up. Make beautiful things and know that the curse is being undone. 

Make beautiful things and know that they are worth fighting for. 


Beauty will save the world. Why? Because beauty is hope. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Paperman


 I can't believe how long I missed out on watching this :)










Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"It is the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy." 

- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Monday, June 29, 2015

Love Already Won

  "I can't believe the news today
I can't close my eyes and make it go away."

- U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday



Things are a mess. Blood and rainbows and so much hatred.


And I keep hearing Christians say that this is the end. They keep wondering how we can even go on at all.  They keep crying and they keep doubting. Things are bad, they say. Really bad. And they curl up and look away. They plan their escape. They wonder where they can run to and how quickly they can get there.


“When Job lifted his face to the Storm, when he asked and was answered, he learned that he was very small. He learned that his life was a story. He spoke with the Author, and learned that the genre had not been an accident. God tells stories that make Sunday school teachers sweat and mothers write their children permission slips excusing them from encountering reality” (N.D. Wilson). Job thought it was the end, too. He was crushed and any bright, hopeful thing that might have kept him going was crushed. But Job didn't run. Instead, he shouted bold questions up into that Storm and he learned that all of this was meant to happen. He learned that God tells terrible stories and that none of us can get out of hearing them. Plugging your ears doesn't ever make bad things go away. It only makes you fearful and alone.


Things are ugly. But remember that they've been uglier and remember that we need to be brave, rather than dismayed. 

Love wins, the world tells us, in glaring letters, and crass words, and anger. Love wins and we win and you should give up now... That is a lie.


Take heart. 


Love already won a very long time ago. On a cross. Between two thieves. Take heart and know that there is so much hope. "The gospel gives me hope," writes Andrew Peterson, "and hope is not a language the dark voices understand."

We know something true that the world has forgotten. Laugh and hold that truth close to your heart. The world's voices, no matter how loud they might be, cannot understand hope. Don't believe their lies and don't ever let them take that hope away from you.  

"Though He slay me," groans Job, "yet I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). We have to hope and keep on hoping. This, too, will pass away.

Never ever ever give up... He has overcome the world.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers' Day!

~ i am blessed ~

The Happiest and Most Wonderful Fathers' Day to this most amazing man <3
Thank you for showing me Jesus in the way that you live. Thank you for being there every single day of my life and for being someone I can trust so much. Thank you for every sacrifice and every story and every encouragement. Thank you for being strong for us. Thank you for life with you. . . and for teaching me how to live well.

i love you, Daddy!



(You'll always be my hero)