Tag Archives: God

Jesus nirvana

i’m sure that with this long hiatus, many of my readers have flown the coop. not that i had that many readers to begin with…

but here i am again, nonetheless. who knows for how long i’ll be here again…or how long my next blog hiatus will be.

i’ve had a rocky few months.

but i have discovered so much more about grace. 

i don’t say that to mean that my rocky few months have been spent cussing like a sailor and drinking like a fish, and therefore i needed the grace of God. i need grace ALL the freakin’ time. because whether i’m doing “big stuff” or “little stuff” (how in the heck did we come up with a sin ranking system?) without Jesus, i’m a miserable little shit before God. period.

i remember my professor in college telling me that the way to be saved is not praying a prayer to ask Jesus in to your heart. it’s the understanding of God’s grace through Jesus in our lives and our total need and dependence on it, and only it. not in what we do, but everything about what He has already done.

the past few months God has revealed himself to me in ways that are mindblowing and inexplicable (or unexplainable?). living in a total God moment and feeling the grace that can only come from him at a time when i needed it the most. and there were no doubts, no questions, no nothing. except for pure, childlike wonder and innocence that God had lifted me up and given me the strength to get through a really tough day.

i used to be the kind of person who thought i needed to read my Bible and pray every day and read Spiritual books and shop in the Christian bookstores so that i could make God happy.

and i’m in no way down-playing those things. they are great. and important (maybe not the Christian bookstores so much…)

but if i try to “get it right” for God, it will never, ever be enough.

i guess i don’t know what else to say. everything is coming out sounding cliched. but how do you explain Jesus nirvana? once you experience it, you know.

and this is not just some mountaintop experience. this is real. this is God. all the time. whether i’m having the worst day or the best day. it doesn’t change. God loves me. just the way i am. where i am. what i am.

so whatever a worthless pile of doo doo you are, it doesn’t matter. Jesus thinks you’re pretty awesome. let him forgive you, and then forgive yourself.

 

and that’s all i have.

 

off to a Lost marathon, matcha green tea, and perhaps some chocolate.

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aaahh.

finally a chance to breathe. aaah. i’ve got a cup of hot green tea, so life is good. at the moment, anyway. it’s been a busy week..work, work, work. last night i went out with the girls. this morning i had a meeting at work, came home and caught up on housework, had lunch, and now i’m relaxing before i have to go back to work at 5 tonight. then it’s off to football, wings, and beer with friends.

so for now i’ll savor the quiet stillness. read, drink tea, reflect, thank GOD for His blessings for which i so often take for granted.

so next week is thanksgiving. it sure doesn’t feel like it, or at least, i don’t feel like it. i’m not sure what is wrong with me. i guess i’m just getting older. but i truly am thankful for so very much. most of all for grace. i realize that’s such a cheesy churchy thing to say, but it’s true. i’ve been in the miry pit. i’ve been without hope. and now i know.

 Jesus is freaking awesome.

i’m also thankful for a whole bunch of little stupid things, like acorns, snow, tea, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string. ok, now i’m just stealing lines, but you get the idea.

what are you thankful for? feel free to be “stupid”.

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riding on the blandwagon

lately i’ve noticed that i’ve lost my edge. my flavor. my saltiness.

it’s like i’m on a spiritually low sodium diet.

there is not much distinction in how i live compared to people who haven’t yet experienced the grace of Jesus.

and i’m wondering…am i being too free in my freedom in Christ?

there is not a day goes by that i am not thankful for grace and forgiveness. but am i just a user? do i need to get straight?

i think i’m desensitized, and that makes me sad.

at this point, the thought of trying to jump off this speeding “blandwagon” scares me. i think i’ve invested too much of my life riding on it. i’m like one of those trees that grows around a close object so much so that the object becomes embedded, just another part of me. and you just know it’s going to hurt like hell to get it out. i was walking through a sheep pasture once when i saw a tree that had grown over a strand of taut fence wire. the wire ran through the tree like the tree was just another fence post. it was pretty neat in that context. but in my life, not so much.

anyway, i’m not really looking for a solution. just talking outloud. internet-speaking, anyway.

i definitely want to change. but maybe not enough to do something about it.

sorry if that shocks you.

does anyone else ever feel like this?

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what on God’s green earth are you doing (to keep it green)?

check out The Green Bible, made with recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink. i think it’s very cool, but the last thing you should do is throw out your current Bible to get the new eco-friendly version. that would be defeating the purpose.

i would like to take this opportunity to list some steps you can take to be greener if you don’t need a new Bible. some of these i’ve already mentioned in previous posts, but it can’t hurt to hear them again, right?

 

Preserve Recycline Toothbrushes: You will have to replace your toothbrush eventually, and when you do, look no further than the Preserve toothbrush. Not only is it super cute, but it is made from recycled yogurt cups and is fully recyclable. Preserve provides postage-paid mailing envelopes/labels for you to send your toothbrushes and their cases back, and then transforms them into neat picnic tables and patio furniture. Recycline also offers other recycled/recyclable personal care products, too. just check out their website for more info.

Reusable grocery bags: If there is a Whole Foods Market near you, stop in and pick up a reuseable grocery tote made from recycled plastic bottles (it says: “I Used to Be A Plastic Bottle”). Of course, if you don’t have a Whole Foods Market near you, any old sturdy tote bag will do for your groceries, and most grocery stores are carrying their own versions now anyway! And whatever you do, please DON’T throw plastic bags away! Take them to a local plastic bag drop-off (many grocery stores have them).

Don’t flush every time you go: “If it’s yellow, let it mello; if it’s brown, flush it down”. Obviously, this does not apply to public restrooms- be courteous!

Women: have a green period: Sorry guys, i recommend that you don’t proceed any further. women: this little product  will save you money, be healthier for your body, and save the earth from getting cluttered with your disposable female products. i can testify that it is truly awesome!

Buy recycled paper products: I buy 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper from Trader Joe’s, and Seventh Generation recycled paper towels. to offset the cost of the paper towels (which do cost more than the unrecycled kind), i just try not to use a lot. regular old fashioned dish towels work just fine.

Bring your own to-go box: Don’t box up your food in a restaurant provided styrofoam container! If you anticipate leftovers when you go out to eat, take your own Gladware or Tupperware container with you! Your food will say fresher, you will save room in your trash can, and you won’t pollute the earth with another unbiodegrable piece of styrofoam!

Recycle!!!! You can even if you don’t think you can, but you may have to be inconvenienced. I have to drive 10 miles away every couple of weeks as my apartment does not have a recycling facility. Check your county’s website to find the nearest recycling options for you.

Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs: They will save you money and they will save energy. What’s stopping you? Sam’s Club has a reasonably priced multi-pack (there are 8-10 in a pack). Check out Energy Star’s site to find the right CFL bulb for you!

 

and now for a poll! please vote honestly:

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in war and grace

35 freaking degrees right now! i love it!!! with my fleece gloves and Denali jacket i was toasty warm on the way to work. i only wish i could be hiking this morning as the woods are sure to be lovely. oh well.

today i am struggling to learn the art of contentment. there is always something i want. last week it was new clothes, yesterday it was a new car, and today it is a new camera. i have perfectly good camera already. in fact, it is quite fancy with more features than i know how to use, but still, i find myself wanting a newer and sleeker model. the thing is, i know as soon as i’ve had that camera for a couple months, an even better one will come out for which i will yearn. arrgghhh!

last night, a culmination of mildly annoying things resulted in me letting out a string of profanities. i’m not going to tell you what it was that happened because it definitely did not merit me cussing like a sailor. though i can laugh about it now, it is actually quite sobering (and rather embarrassing). where is my mind, where is my heart, if my first response to a negative situation is to say every four letter word that exists? i spent a long time talking with God and listening to him through his Word. yeesh…i am such a mess.

okay, now that you know what a stinking jerk i am, i must say that i have never felt more loved in all my life. lately i find myself smiling and tearing up at odd moments, thinking about my Hero. i’m like a love-sick teenager all over again. i know this all sounds really cheesy and churchy, but it’s true. i spent most of my life thinking i was okay with God, just sinning little sins, but nothing to worry about. but only recently have i really come to understand what Grace is and what a wreck i actually am. Jesus has stepped off the flannel board and into my life.

so, that’s my life today. what a shitty little worm i am and what a Savior i have.

praise you, Jesus.

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weekend fun & lessons

i had a wonderful time this weekend visiting my sister and her family. no matter what i’ve done in the past, what i look like, how much (or how less) money i make, or how much of an idiot i can be, my family still loves me, even when acquaintances and friends fall away. it’s amazing how family relationships parallel our relationship with God. awesome, i say. here are some highlights of the weekend, if they can be summed up in bullet points (they really can’t):

  • homemade chocolate chip pumpkin muffins
  • talking politics with my bro-in-law
  • lots of laughter
  • singing my sweet little niece to sleep
  • reading bedtime stories
  • learning to use a sewing machine (fun!!!)
  • a superfabulous morning hike in the woods
  • the bread store (oh. my. goodness.)
  • raking leaves
  • truly amazing worship @ church
  • great conversations with my sister
  • talking with God and listening to Elliott Smith on the drives

and another thing: during the hike i happened to see a tree that had snapped off and fallen, but rather than falling to the ground, it had managed to

land right in the middle of another tree’s forked branches. it was just perfect- if it had had been just a few inches to either side, the tree would have fallen over the path. i didn’t give it another thought until today after church. the pastor taught out of colossians (3:13) about bearing with one another and forgiving them- how we should bear people like we bear burdens. most often i try to avoid those people who can be burdens. you know the type. the weirdos, the clingers, the needy people. i tend to be somewhat of an independent introvert and, so, very often, people can drain me. i like people, but i don’t always feel like i “need” people (i know that’s not true, but that’s how i often feel). so when i’m faced with a person who is very needy, i tend to shirk away. but God wants me to do just the opposite. i should be “bearing” those people up, just like that tree in the woods. it can’t be easy to have to catch somebody and then let their weight bear down upon me, but it’s what i need to do.  i am so selfish and i know that i have burned and hurt a lot of people. so i’m having a lot of conversations with God, asking him to help me bear with people.

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Chinese take-out and humilty

i packed a rather meager lunch this morning, so when thoughts emerged of my favorite Chinese take-out, i was a goner. it’s this little hole-in-the-wall joint near my job (how convenient) that only accepts cash, but it is the best americanized Chinese food i have ever had. i knew i had a ten in my wallet, so i was good to go. i called in my cashew chicken and fried rice and then antsily watched the clock until it was time to pick it up.

when i got to the restaurant i claimed my order and proudly handed over my ten….er…five. five? what? oh crap.

Me: “Oops, I thought that was a ten! And I only have my bank card.”

Cashier: Looks at me with a blank, helpless look. Calls over another employee who also stares at me.

Me: “Oh wait! I think I have change!”

i hastily pulled my coin purse from my bag and rooted for $2.95 in change. wonder of wonders there was enough. (rare, quarters usually end up in my laundry fund). but as i was standing at the counter, feeling a tad humiliated, i thought of how it is with God. more often than not, there i am before Him, digging through my little coin purse of goodness, trying to find enough to give Him. the thing is, there is never enough. and while i am rooting, He is there just waiting for me to stop, because the only thing He wants- has ever wanted- is me, and not what i can give Him.

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