Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Three Years...

36 months.
1,096 days.

a lot of sleeping
a lot of waking
a lot of questions
a lot of choices
a lot of miles covered

a lot of living and dying,
often at the same time.

some seasons of action
some seasons of rest
some seasons of hope
some seasons of wonder
some seasons of wondering

some seasons of darkness,
with a tiny candle to light the way.

some seasons of incredible joy,
with the felt warmth of Life and Light...
but whether or not we feel His presence,
Christ is with us, in us.

From our beginning, we've been wrestlers, doubters, hope-ers, love-ers, pilgrims...
Here's to many more years of venturing forth...

hand in hand,

side by side,

with mischief in mind,

and grace all throughout.

I love you, Jeromie Rand

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So... my life is organized by music, and just about any album I've had for a while brings up vivid memories. Some seasons of my life are characterized by a single song, others by a series of them. As I spent this morning cleaning, I found myself listening to another memory... one that comes up quite often actually.

Hold Me Jesus - Rich Mullins

This song is one that I resonate with anyway, but it will forever bring to mind a good friend - Aaron Pugh.

Aaron was a pretty incredible guy: tireless servant, generous giver, constant encourager, fellow pilgrim, bearer of the love & peace of Christ in many ways to many people. I actually think about him a lot... whenever I take out my bike. He rode too, though I never got to ride with him, and he passed away riding.

Aaron had a big heart... mine was too small and constricted at the time to let him be a good friend to me, and that was my deficiency, not his... I kept everyone out at that time in my life. He didn't let that get in the way, though, and I think that's part of why his life continues to challenge me to do the same. I spent a lot of my life pushing people away from me, and though I'm past that now, I think I still respond in that same old way sometimes when someone pushes me away. That response is not the way I'm called to live, and it is not love.

There's more going on in my heart right now than just memories of Aaron... but those memories brought some things to the surface today that I'd not wrestled with in a while. I guess it's time.

Monday, June 08, 2009

What do you think?

"The first key to wisdom is assiduous and frequent questioning... For by doubting we come to inquiry, and by inquiry we arrive at the truth."
~ Peter Abelard (1079-1142)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Humor & the House of God

I guess I'll start at the bottom of my list of possible topics... after all, I finally have some pictures to share. Mildly amusing ones, too. :-)


At least for the summer (possibly longer), I have one of the least fun jobs I've ever had... BUT it's also been one of the best in a lot of ways.

What do I do??

I clean our church building.

It's really not bad or difficult or anything... it just way larger chunks of time spent with chemicals than I'd prefer! I spent the first week or two gagging as I faced the prospect of cleaning 8 toilets & 2 urinals, but I am now patently unafraid of whatever surprise may greet me AND I have a newfound respect for janitorial staff everywhere! :-) Hmmmm. I'm blogging about toilets... I'll move on now.

I've actually begun to love the time I have each week doing this... once I finish balking at the whole hours-with-chemicals thing, of course. That aside, it's actually some beautiful time for any number of things: singing, thinking, just being quiet, listening for where or how God is stirring in or around me, praying, lamenting, laughing out loud, incurring minor injuries... oh wait, that last one's not a good thing. :-)

This week has been a particularly lovely time, and it began unassumingly with some new-to-me music (The Autumn Film... thanks Rob!). Their song, "Enough" had tears streaming down my face while I was scrubbing toilets - "my heart's been ripped wide open by all the things I didn't need; Your heart's been ripped wide open 'cause I keep chasing other things..." An apt description of my journey with Jesus. Perhaps more on that later.

After processing through that bout of tears, I moved on to some different music... Dave Smith's Two Cities. I knew there was the possibility of crying with this one, but I didn't expect to mop up my own weepy mess!! Okay... slight exaggeration. I don't cry often, and it usually takes a lot to get me there so to find myself crying twice in a day is quite a feat... but it's a very good thing when it happens. Tears are welcome now, and they're an opportunity to find out what has been stirring unknown in my soul.

Anyway... on Two Cities Dave shares a cover he recorded of Genesis's "Take Me Home." His rendition is beautiful and it reminds me of the handful of times that the DCF band played it on a Sunday morning. I'm pretty sure that this song has become one of those hooks that I hang memory and meaning on... I am forever learning what it means to pray for home.

Initially (and sometimes still), the song held for me a longing for my home with God - when I die or He returns, whatever it may look like. Not that I've stopped longing for that, but this earth-ball is where I'm travelling right now and I might be travelling on it for quite a while longer so I'm pretty sure it'd be wise to consider what God has called me to here.

When Jeromie and I left Clemson to move to Denver last August, I'm pretty sure we were both bawling along with the song as we left town in memory of the beautiful family and place we were leaving. A week or so later driving north into Denver from New Mexico, we found ourselves crying tears of joy to the same exact words because we knew that God was all over the move and was bringing us to a new and different home. Over the past few months, unbeknownst to me, my soul has been stirring along with the thought of home as a people. When I sang and cried yesterday, I was not longing for a physical place but loving on and missing and praying for my scattered family... and I was loving on and praying for and rejoicing over the family I have begun to gain here.

I miss my DCF family. I miss our house church there more than I can describe. I miss the connection and the honest tears and the difficult questions and the authentic love of that band of Jesus-followers. But at the same time, God is weaving together an amazing family here too. It does not look the same, and I don't want it to. I want to throw myself in unabashedly with the brothers and sisters I have here. I want to be open and anticipating something amazing, because Jesus is doing just that among us.

And I want to laugh. :-)

So I do.

Part of my family here is the incredible mix that is Wellspring Anglican Church... this is the one whose building I clean. I'll have to write another post sometime soon to talk about Wellsping more, but this post's already gotten longer than I'd planned and I still haven't gotten to the humorous part. We are a diverse pile of people from a bunch of different backgrounds with a shared love: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also know how to have fun... just wait for pictures from Sunday's Block Party & small group cookouts!

Apparently we also know how to make one 5'5" cleaning-lady laugh every time she opens her closet door:

This is my twice-a-week companion.
He's a vacuum cleaner.
I'm pretty sure he needs a name.

Also, today I spent about an hour and a half scrubbing out the baptismal tub and I found this little guy:

I might clean the Wellspring building, but the building's not the house of God... we are as a part of His body, and I want to live in THAT house. :-)

P.S. That strange-looking platform? It's a dock. We're turning the sanctuary into a SWAMP this week for Vacation Bible School. Told you we know how to have fun! :-D

I hereby resolve...

... not to play Tetris today.

I know, I know. I could resolve to do (or not do) so many more exciting things, but Tetris it is. I have spent many years convinced that I hated Tetris until Jeromie proved me wrong oh... 2 days ago? I confess that I have wasted a lot of my free time playing Tetris. No wonder my paper isn't done! :-p

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mess & Mercy

There are a lot of days where I feel downright uncomfortable in my own skin... when I am acutely aware of the fact that something is amiss. In my heart. In my relationships. In my world.

As many have said before me, things are not as they were made to be... and yet there is beauty, life, hope... a steady tension... the "already and not yet" of the One True God at work.

My life so far has been a beautiful, ridiculous, little part of a much larger, lovelier story. Beautiful because Jesus is making that way... ridiculous because it's such an odd assortment of mess and mercy, belief and unbelief, brokenness and healing, coming and going, learning and forgetting, travelling and setting up camp for a time, and becoming.

Lately, it's felt like the brokenness was winning... physically, emotionally, relationally... i've been an inconsistent (to some, absent) friend, a difficult wife, an impertinent child, a prodigal yet again... i've added a new (minor) injury to my long list (who knew you could bust yourself vacuuming?!)... i've lost track of the things that are most important to me... so it goes...

But here marks a moment where I've been picked up, dusted off and reminded that this is not the end of the story. :-)