here in the power of Christ I stand.

1. I’ve started to help lead the music at church. One of the best parts about it so far is that during the bits when I’m not singing, I can listen to everyone else singing. And there’s something really beautiful about hearing your whole church confess together, “In Christ alone my hope is found / He is my light, my strength, my song.” Part of the beauty of congregational worship is that in singing together, in speaking and confessing our sinfulness together, and in proclaiming the Scriptures and the mystery of our faith together, we are not only speaking these things to the Lord, but to one another.

2. Also, I don’t refer to leading the music as “leading worship”, because the whole of a Sunday service is worship–the liturgy, listening to the sermon, and yes, the singing, too.

3. And if you know my story at all, you know that “In Christ Alone” has a really special place in my heart. God has used it to bring me back from the edge of losing it many a time. Including this morning. “No guilt in life, no fear in death / This is the power of Christ in me.”

4. And I’m sitting here writing this to remind myself; a blog post is one more way of underlining this place in God’s story of my life as I’m reading what He wrote down before time began. Still a lot of chapters to go (I hope), and I can’t really skip ahead in this one. But He has been good so far. And He will be good to the end.

here in the power of Christ I stand.

to the Sunday afternoon patrons of the Weekley Family YMCA

Who are all these people
walking out of the gym,
you wonder, all these folks
in totally workout-inappropriate clothes,
kids and purses and coffee in hand.

Well. It’s a long story, but
the short version is
we are wandering birds who have
nested in this tree awhile,
a motley flock of ravens and robins
and peacocks and parrots;

we are a rainbow not of
rebellion but of a promise
to renew the chaos around us;

we are the fruit of a seed planted
deep in the Texas soil.

We have been broken
we have been healed
we have been sent out
by the wind like dandelions
we are like no other family you know

so come a little early next Sunday.
come see what love has done
what He’s doing
what He can do in you
at His word heaven is unleashed on us
so come and join us
we’ll save you a spot

to the Sunday afternoon patrons of the Weekley Family YMCA

may the odds be ever in your favor.

1. Why, yes, I did just finish reading Mockingjay. Holy smokes, people.

2. My emotions have been kinda raw this week. Not sure why. I am, however, taking this as a good sign. But if I seem a little on edge, it’s a combination of this and my having just finished Mockingjay. 😉

3. Did I tell y’all I have a Tumblr? Most of you good readers already follow me on Twitter and get links to the posts in my feed, but check out One More Tree In the Garden for some miscellaneous thoughts on faith and art.

4. I haven’t asked y’all questions in a while, so:

a) How can I be praying for you?
b) What are you doing this weekend?
c) What’s the last article of clothing you bought?
d) What color is your car?
e) Who is one person who makes you feel at home?
f) Where is your hairbrush, if you have one?
g) What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

may the odds be ever in your favor.

glory be.

1. I wonder if the drought in Texas keeps on happening so people with the Jesus vaccine (i.e., just enough Jesus to not actually catch Him) will actually turn to Him. I hope. When it rains, that will be glory indeed.

2. There’s a blogger I read and respect a great deal that just announced today that he can’t get into Paul Simon. My respect for him has decreased just a little bit. (Just a little bit. But still.)

3. We, as evangelicals, and maybe as Christians in general, really suck at lamenting and grief. We have almost no vocabulary for it. And I wonder if that isn’t somehow doing the suffering people in our midst some disservice. At the very least, I wonder if it doesn’t betray some lack of faith that God is strong enough to sustain us if we’re not happy all the time.

4. The weather today was amazing. Wish there was some rain to go with it, but maybe we’ll have a cold(ish) winter this year.

5. This probably isn’t a good sign, but I’m always slightly suspicious of the times when I’m actually feeling pretty up. I think in the back of my mind is the nagging threat of “okay, what’s going to be next?” Which is silly. Suffering’s gonna come, but let it come in its time and don’t worry about it. Easier said than done for me, but something that needs to be done nonetheless.

6. Random thing you can pray for me about, if you pray: I haven’t been sleeping very well lately, and when that happens, my brain tends to short-circuit after a while.

7. That’s all I’ve got. Hope y’all are well.

glory be.

50 things for which i am grateful this week.

1. My community group at church, who are like prayer ninjas (and a lot of fun). Love those folks.

2. Netflix.

3. My job, which is awesome.

4. Podcasts.

5. Diet Coke.

6. I’ve started doing Pilates again, and it feels really, really good.

7. I am very slowly learning how to be okay with my emotions, which has always gone badly for me in the past.

8. My guitar.

9. Salsa music.

10. Doctor Who. Oh my gosh.

11. Nalgene bottles. (When I’m on the register at work, I get really thirsty from talking to a ton of people, so having water there is nice.)

12. All my body parts, as far as I’m aware, are in good working order.

13. Coffee.

14. This week, which has been one big push of the reset button for me.

15. Paychecks.

16. Google.

17. Text messages.

18. My parents, who are being kind enough to let me live with them while I’m broke.

19. The public library (free books!).

20. Getting to know other women. For a long time I only got along with guys, so being able to form friendships with ladies is nice.

21. My church is okay with female deacons.

22. Pinterest.

23. Books that make me grateful to be literate.

24. Tylenol.

25. The incredible long naps I had yesterday and this afternoon.

26. People that push me to have to think about stuff so I can explain it.

27. There are a lot of good men in my life, men who work hard and respect women and love their significant others. Not all of them are believers, but we’re working on that part. 😉

28. Hashtags on Twitter.

29. Eye makeup.

30. For some reason I couldn’t find my glasses this morning, and so I put on one of my older spare pairs, and it turns out I can actually see better through these. And they’re not crooked like my “normal” ones are. So…grateful for eyewear serendipity.

31. I went to get my car inspected this morning, and the guy pointed out that one of my tires is really worn down and he offered me the chance to go get it fixed before he inspected it (he would have had to fail it otherwise).

32. New books.

33. Dexter.

34. Good stories in general.

35. This:

36. Friends I can drink margaritas and eat Mexican food with.

37. I know where my next meal will come from; I can sleep at night without threat of being killed; I have full political rights as a woman and a person of color; I may speak my opinions; I can practice my faith without fear of persecution.

38. And even if #37 weren’t true, I am a citizen of the true Kingdom, and that can get you through a lot.

39. The witness of people for whom #37 is not true, who show the rest of us that Jesus really is enough.

40. I am one of ten thousand times ten thousand who have been redeemed from every tribe, language, people, and tongue by the Lamb who was slain.

41. I am no longer a slave to sin.

42. Every pain, every brokenness, every heartbreak is one day going to be redeemed.

43. “No guilt in life, no fear in death / This is the power of Christ in me / From life’s first cry to final breath / Jesus commands my destiny”

44. Music. Art. Dance. Poetry. Theater. Beauty and truth.

45. Jesus comes after me, no matter how hard I try sometimes to ignore Him.

46. And He came after me all the way to death and the wrath of the Father.

47. I belong to a church community that loves praying together.

48. I am alive. And I’m happy to be.

49. God is not done with me yet.

50. Jesus is going to return one day to set the world to rights. And He comes every single day to set me to rights, and will keep doing so until the day I die and am raised again.

50 things for which i am grateful this week.