Sunday, February 15, 2009


365 - 2.15 / Studying by Candlelight / Littleton, CO

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The past week or so have been somewhat of an enigma to me. Oh, I have theories, but I'm not sure they fit...

- Yes, but there's more to it than that...
Under the weather?
- Yes, but there's more to it than that...
- Yes, but there's more to it than that...
- Yes, but there's more to it than that...

I'm a little baffled that three weeks of class have already slipped past. Meanwhile, I've already gotten behind on my reading, I've caught a cold and kept it for a week, I've tweaked & turned in my learning contract, I've seen 2 clients, and I've questioned the very core of who I am.

A friend has said that she has many layers, the deepest and best one being chocolate. Lately, I've had the unsettling feeling that my deepest layer is something akin to tar. Black, smelly, and disgusting.

On a cognitive level, I know this is not true. Perhaps I have become tarred over the course of life in a broken world, but my deepest heart is not itself tar. God is up to something good again (as always), but...

For some reason, that's really hard for me cling to and live out of on a heart-level.

So in the past week, I've given up and gotten by. Exhausted and snotty. Soul-weary and overwhelmed. Eyes closed, camera off, sketchbook hidden. Despite a commitment to listen with my heart, I mostly shut it down again - afraid to venture further through the doors opened to me.

To be honest, I'm still on the edge of that place even as I write. But I am not alone and I am not stranded. I am surrounded and embraced by my Creator, Redeemer, and Friend - and by a community of people who are willing to remind me of what is real and true.

I am not sure what God is up to in this season, but I do not need to know the end right now, only that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day He returns (Philippians 1:6).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Being Awake...

"The word I kept hearing in multiple places this morning is "awake." I'm curious what it means for me. Anything for you?"
~ Winn Collier, as his Facebook status

"short answer... it's a state i wish i were in today, more than just physically. it's better than texas. :-)"
~ my too-quick, but still true, response

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I probably should've thought more about my answer before I posted a comment, but I didn't have the energy to articulate, at that moment, what being awake means for me. So I got to have a little bit of freshly prepared foot* for lunch, but that's okay. As a "transplanted Texan" (see below**), I stand by my claim that being truly awake is better than Texas any day.

And now I shall explain.

For me, being truly awake is far more than a physical state. It's a matter of willingness, awareness, aliveness... where I pop my head out of my little prairie-dog hole and realize that the world, and God in it and beyond it, are far larger than I understand them to be.

To be awake means:
- seeing and listening, with more than just my physical eyes and ears, to God and the world around me
- anticipation, not complacency ~ keeping watch, as in Matthew 25
- letting go of my little life for the sake of loving and serving God and my neighbor
- spending honest, unfettered time with my heart laid bare to Jesus, who has rescued me
- asking hard questions & thinking hard through the possible answers
- encountering the world honestly, genuinely
- remembering what is true
- loving well wherever I find myself - whether work, school, or community
- working well wherever I find myself - whether work, school, or community
- allowing myself to be loved by others
- something God calls me to be
- and much, much, MUCH more...

If I am honest with myself, I don't spend much time awake... and that, my friends, I lament.

* * * * * * *

* - I don't like to stir things up, so I stuck my foot in my mouth. Perhaps unnecessarily. I'm still evaluating that one...
** - Though born in Texas, I grew up in SC, and thus went through all of SC's state history shenanigans. So... when I came home from school in the 3rd-ish grade calling myself a "sandlapper" (the name for a South Carolinian, I guess), my mom went to great lengths to explain that I am not in fact a "sandlapper," and should not call myself that... I'm a "transplanted Texan." I guess it stuck.