and you told me to be patient / and you told me to be kind

I should be at the gym right now, especially since a) I haven’t been in over a week and b) I just ate a hamburger and a half (homemade, to be fair), but I am still slightly nap-groggy and in a writerly mood, so you get a blog post instead while I listen to Bon Iver.

I tweeted a while ago that I think I get something like seasonal affective disorder, only during the summer instead of the winter like normal people, but as this is Houston, apparently I’m not alone. The cooler months around here are like some sort of magic; when we can drag out our sweaters and hoodies, it’s like Aslan is on the move. We’re like a perverse sort of Narnia–always summer, never Christmas. This year has been a little bit better, though, what with the almost-daily thunderstorms we were having for a while. I’ve written here before that rain always makes me think of God–His power, His majesty, but also His mercy to the just and the unjust, of which I am both.

A few of us at church have been doing those read the Bible in a year plans, and the particular one I’ve been using has had me in Proverbs for a while. The fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins, writes the Teacher, which of course has me asking the question: If the fear of Him is where it starts, where does it continue? What sustains it?

So far, the only answer I can find to that question is, of course, the love of the Lord. His forgiveness is why He is feared, and despite our foolishness and our sloth, He, the Wisdom of God, continues to keep pulling us back to righteousness all the time. I’m trying to learn to walk down this road.

What have you been pondering these days, friends?

breath, word, life.

If there’s not a lot being said around these parts these days, my friends, it is because I’m trying to find my voice again, to find my faith again. Not that I have ever entirely lost my belief in Jesus, but that I realize how shallow its roots have been, and now the tree is gasping for breath.

I confessed to my friends last Thursday that, as I am an avid reader, I treat the Scriptures like just another book, to be skimmed through, maybe superficially analyzed, and then set aside. Even though I’m a good daughter of the Reformation, I forget that in the Bible, the Word Himself speaks to me, if only I would shut up for a while and listen. And without hearing Him, how can a woman live?

In the living, may I not forget to actually live, and do the things that actually give me life. Writing’s one of those, and I miss it. So who knows, maybe I’ll start speaking here again, really speaking.

music check.

It’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. Set your music player of choice to shuffle and give us the first 20 tracks it plays, no matter how embarrassing:

1. Switchfoot, “On Fire”
2. U2, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”
3. Usher, “Yeah!”
4. Andrew Peterson, “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” (now *there’s* a juxtaposition…)
5. Rilo Kiley, “Go Ahead”
6. Once Original Broadway Cast, “Ej Pada Pada Rosicka”
7. Ben Taylor, “You Must’ve Fallen”
8. The Katinas, “One More Time”
9. Carly Simon, “Haven’t Got Time For the Pain”
10. Sarah Jarosz, “Little Song”
11. Bruce Springsteen, “Further On (Up the Road)”
12. Bruce Springsteen, “Long Walk Home”
13. Andrew Peterson, “Let There Be Light”
14. Baylor Chamber Choir, “Ding Dong! Merrily On High”
15. Daft Punk, “Recognizer”
16. Sutton Foster, “Anything Goes”
17. Fleet Foxes, “Lorelai”
18. Sufjan Stevens, “The First Noel”
19. New York Hymns, “Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb (Station 14: Part 1)”
20. Sufjan Stevens, “Holland”

but i still.

i have climbed highest mountain
i have run through the fields

there is such an ache
in that irishman’s voice
years of conflict, years of longing
that my comfortable heart
watches like war on tv

only to be with you…only to be with you

and the question is
should that “y” be capital
or lowercase
or both
as though in pursuing the beloved
we are chased by the Lover?

oh Why, indeed.

you know i believe it
but i still haven’t found what i’m looking for

it’s not like You aren’t enough
but You are like water in a death valley
the more we drink the more we want

and there are such deep pools in your eyes
that i dip my cup into their water
and it comes up wine
and we will drink to death
and the life we’re still waiting for

thursday 13

This week: 13 happy things in your life right now.

1. I’m going to community group tonight and taking two big things of strawberries and blueberries. Yay!
2. Have y’all heard The Lumineers? They’re really good.
3. I am not outside right now. I am, in fact, indoors with a Diet Coke, in air conditioning.
4. John Green’s book Paper Towns.
5. Sermons from the church I went to in college.
6. A group of us are going on a trip to the hill country in a little over a month. Stoked!
7. Getting ready this morning to Mumford & Sons.
8. I’m about to make an appointment to get my hair cut this weekend. About time. 🙂
9. If you’re on Twitter, you need to follow Honest Toddler if you’re not already. Hilarious.
10. The discovery of these amazing chalk drawings at Sesame Workshop.
11. Catching the last few minutes of HBO’s miniseries about John Adams last night.
12. The fact that I’m running out of room on my bookshelves. (I may have a problem.)
13. The stack of magazines by my bed, waiting to be read.

emo poem [not its actual title]

Tonight I drink coffee under the nearly-full moon
(She is round with light, heavy with time)
And put callouses to keyboard

Tonight I miss your voice
Whispering straight into my heart
Even when your words were surgeon’s knives

Tonight it feels like God’s voice
Only comes to me from far off through
The radio station playing in my brain

Oh, these days I feel like I’ve been driving
A truck to the edge of the ocean
Just me and my cargo and the horizon

Would you call me sometime and tell me
Your story, tell me our story, and let me
Know I’m not so alone on this beach

hi hi hi

1. Sorry that the last actual post I wrote on here was so emo. Been thinking kind of emo thoughts lately, though. Not the worrying kind, like I have had in the past, so don’t fret, friends. But I would not be me without having constant existential crises, so you should worry about the day I stop.

2. For some reason of late I have been reading books about marriage, thinking about marriage. And with that comes the realization that I actually don’t rightly know how to do what leads up to marriage, i.e., dating. (This is where I tell you that I am 27.5 years old and I have not ever been in a long-term relationship. I am more or less all right with this–moreso than I used to be, for sure–but there you have it.) I am of the mind that maybe learning about how marriage works would be good prep for dating, but besides actually going on a date with a fellow, any suggestions?

3. And I think, too, that I still have a great deal of anxiety regarding relating to people at all–more than I show–so maybe getting some of my issues worked out would be good prep as well…

4. I’ve been an American citizen for a little over 23 years now. This country, for me, is a gift, an opportunity given to me. I did not choose it; it opened its arms up and welcomed me, an orphan and an alien, and gave me a family. We’re in a rather odd state of affairs right now, and I think we must either be reformed from the inside out or collapse entirely, but I love America anyway. There is beauty here, and I hold out hope that when the world is renewed for good, we’ll know America’s true grandeur at last, as it bows its knees before the King of all kings (and presidents, and congresspeople). So happy 236th birthday, America.

5. And that’s all we’ve got. Later. Be loved.