Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stepping Down...

I have been thinking a lot lately (I know, VERY uncommon for me :D) about Jesus . . .

What do you suppose it was like for Him to step down out of eternity into the finite? How do you think it felt for Him to give up the infinite for the fragile?? I marvel at the fact that He saw His whole life laid out before Him - every day planned, and seen far in advance, yet He still chose to come down to earth and be WITH us. He chose to be confined in a robe of flesh, and experience all that life has to offer - pain, fear, struggle, temtation, love, desire, joy, sorrow, lonliness - all of it!! I wonder what it must have been like for Him.

I also wonder if I would recognize Him . . . would I know Him as a child? Would I recognize my King? Would my heart beat a little faster? I wonder - do I know Him well enough that I would recognize Him walking down the street?? I desperately want to say "yes," but I'm not so sure . . .

Oh, that I would know Him - my Savior, my Lord, my King, my Father, my Friend, My Love - that I would KNOW Him intimately, and beautifully in every way!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May God meet you where you are, and fill you with His joy and peace!!

Love - Andrea

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TOMS Shoes

Check it out . . . I finally know what I want for Christmas. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweet Whisper

I heard it . . . I finally heard it. About a week ago, I was driving along and I heard it - that still, soft whisper of love and tenderness that fills my heart and gets it beating wildly. It lasted only a moment, but the echo remained for a while and thrilled me more than I realized it ever could. I felt so loved! So full! So alive!

As I began to reflect on this (as I am FULLY aware that God is always with me, always near), I began to think about how I lived a good 3 years of my life with this voice in my heart and me head consistently. He was there guiding me, talking to me, laughing with me, crying with me, debating with me, teaching me, and just living life with me. As the voice began to fade, I found myself despondent (as most of you know from reading this blog). I understand now that I am in a different season . . . I am now in a winter season of pruning - that dreadful process of getting rid of anything that needs cutting out of my life. And being stubborn and quite slow to learn, this season is lasting quite a while. So, as you can imagine, the breeze of His voice, though brief, offered me a glimpse and a reminder of why I am enduring.

And it forced me to stop and think . . . I take it so for granted . . . I take HIM for granted, in almost every way. His presence, His voice, His guidance . . . His love. Because He was my constant companion for 3 years, it seemed like no big deal. I no longer thrilled at His voice and His touch. His attention. Yet, in this season of perceived emptiness, I find that I am starving for Him - even the slightest nod in my direction and feel faint with joy!

Why can't I be like that all the time? I should NEVER take Him for granted. I should never allow the fact that He is with me - the Creator God of the Universe, who is so far beyond me, so utterly different in every way - He is WITH ME, and that should blow my mind each and every minute of each and every day!! That should never become ho-hum, and I should NEVER cease to marvel at the fact that He chose me. When He could have chosen anyone else . . . so many others so much BETTER than me, so much better . . . yet He dug to the bottom, scraped me off the floor, and made me His own.

May we never cease to be amazed by His grace and mercy and love!

Passionately Pursuing God,

PS - I also want to take a minute and say to each and every one of you who responded to my last post - THANK YOU!! Thank you for the encouragement, for the understanding, for the Scripture, and for the correction!! I am blessed beyond belief to have friends who will step up and tell my what I need to hear, even if I don't want to, who will encourage me with what God is teaching them, and who will stand by me when I seem to be more lost than found!! You guys are the BEST, and I love you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Swallowed Whole

So, I've been listening to a song by Paul Alan, "To Bring You Back," and I am disturbed and broken by the fact that it describes me perfectly . . . sans chorus.

"Are you thirsty, standing in the rain?
Not sure where you are or how you lost your way
Are you drowning
Some bar outside of town?
Searching for something given not found
A crowd of people totally alone
At the front door Worlds away from home . . .
Are you tired of chasing the wind?
Under water, do you aspire to breathe again?
Are you dying?
Is that the best that you can do?
Cause you can't find your place in a world that wasn't meant for you."

Yeah, that's me . . . well, all except for the "bar outside of town." I find that I am lost more and more each day. I keep waiting to see Him on the horizon, come to rescue me, and with each passing day I lost hope that will ever happen. I am trying everything to rekindle the love, rediscover the hope, build up the faith, and everything seems to have the complete opposite affect.

Ready for something ugly?? I have something to confess . . . I find that I am beginning to view God as some sadistic father or lover, trying to disguise abuse as "loving discipline" - something that will make us stronger and is for our "own good." I have found that the very things that should be endearing me to Him and drawing me closer to His heart, are in-fact, embittering me . . . . and it scares me. The more I search for God, the more I find He is absolutely nowhere to be found. I have never been more afraid of God in all my life . . . nor, I am afraid and ashamed to admit, have I ever loved Him so little . . .

I am afraid. I have begun to wonder if this is what it's like when God hardens a heart. Is that what's happening to me?? I don't want to!! I want to love Him, but for all I do and all I try my heart is getting harder and emptier with each beat. Perhaps I just continue to jack things up, and God is just letting me go with it. I am trying with ALL THAT I AM to cling to Him, but He is slipping away . . . I can't seem to connect with anyone anymore. I feel 100%, completely alone, and absolutely every way . . . .

My friend sent me the lyrics to another song that just solidified and completely describes my life, my heart, my soul . . .

"Can't See (Useless)" by Oingo Boingo

We were both cast forth from the same pale hand And we both moved freely in the shadowlands And we both were sculpted by the same cold wind And we both had armor that was made of tin
And I tried to find you, but it's useless And I tried to speak, but it was useless
And I felt so bad and I didn't know why
And it didn't get better as time went by I was there for you, but you turned away And I tried to find you, but you turned away
And I tried to find you, but it's useless And I tried to speak, but was useless And I tried to find you, but it's useless
And you're so close, but I can't see you And you're right there, but I can't see you And I feel so dumb and I didn't know what to do You were right there but I can't see you
And I realize that it's useless
And I want to fight, but it's useless
And I know you're there, but it's useless

And you're everywhere, but it's useless
And I tried to say it, but my tongue got tied

And I tried to say it, but I was numb inside
And I can't see you anymore
And my peace of mind has gone through the door
And I realize that it's useless
And I thought I was right, but it was useless And I know you're there, but it's useless And you're everywhere, but it's useless
And I can't see now in front of my nose
And I know you're there, and I know you're close And you're fading away - now you disappear And I try to focus, but I can't see clear
And I don't know why I feel this way
And I can't control myself anyway
And I don't know why I feel this way
And I can't control myself anyway
And I feel so bad, but it's useless
And I feel so bad, but it's useless
And I feel so bad, but it's useless
And I can't see... now in front of my face.

When, Oh Lord, will You come and rescue me?! I do my best to do Your will, all for fear that if I don't that will be it - I will have completely succeeded in completely destroying my life. I am being swallowed whole by the darkness that surrounds me, as it digests me slowly and completely . . . I am done, God. I am at the end. I am doing my best to cling to what You have taught me, but I feel my mind slipping and with it everything I have ever been sure about, everything I have ever known of You . . . oblivion is overcoming me, and I'm not sure I mind anymore.

If something doesn't change soon, I'm afraid I'm going to have to change the name of my blog to "Ramblings of Insanity."

Sorry to disturb you . . .

Monday, October 06, 2008


OK, so there is a site that my friend and fellow blogger showed me - it's called Wordle, and it makes a "word cloud" of a something you write, or paste into the box. It is SO COOL! Here are a couple I have done:
Song of Songs chapter 4

Robert Browning Poem


Saturday, October 04, 2008

God's Beauty. . .

I am here in Vernon, AZ enjoying a weekend of solitude and silence (well, almost). Can I just say that it is amazing!!! God couldn't have planned a more perfect weekend for the two of us . . . I was trying to get some friends to come along, but it just didn't work out. Seems God wanted some alone time with me, and really I wanted some with Him too. The weather is PERFECT! It is cloudy and windy and cool . . . the view out the window is spectacular, and I am just soaking it all up.

In this quiet place, I have been thinking about God's beauty. How He has filled this earth with it. His poetry is written in the stars, if we have eyes to read it. His music fills the earth, if we have ears to hear it. His carpentry is all around us, if we have minds to recognize it. His dancing is played out among the trees and clouds, if have eyes to watch it (and feet to dance along). His canvas is stretched across the sky at sunset and sunrise, and we can see His brush strokes, if we just take the time to look. His pottery is all around, if have hearts to engage with it. His pottery, I think, is His favorite creation - you and I, we are His pottery. Most of it is chipped, if not completely broken, but that is where much of the beauty is seen. There is nothing more beautiful than a work of art, or a book, that is worn and used, and obviously enjoyed! It shows character. Scars show strength and the beauty that comes from those ashes is breathtaking.

God is the most amazing artist, isn't He? As much as we try, we cannot even come close!!

But here is the thing that has really touched me . . . we often hear and talk about how God has given us all of these beautiful things to enjoy. But, I'm not sure that's the case. Not that He doesn't want us to enjoy it, and finds delight when we do, but I do not think that is why He creates this beauty, this art. No. He creates for His own enjoyment. He writes and dances and sings and forms and paints for His own delight. For His own pleasure. The stars, the wind, the trees, the clouds, the sunsets, the oceans, the mountains, and each and every one of us gives Him immense pleasure. Think of all the places unseen and untouched by humans. Do you think they are blank? No! I bet they are the most beautiful places on earth or in the heavens. (The things we can see my telescope now . . . wow!! God has been enjoying those places since the beginning.)

As an artist I can understand this. I dance and sing and act because it fills me with joy, and gives me pleasure. I delight when others find pleasure in it, as well, but there are times, so many times, when I create for no one but myself. I dance in the living room, I sing in the car, and honestly I am always acting and being a bit crazy - you should see the conversations I have with myself - WHEW! All because it gives me joy (and keeps me sane). I hope that, perhaps, it gives God joy as well, to see His creation making something beautiful!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


OK, so it's time I get this out . . . I have been mulling it over, chewing on it, processing through and all that junk for far too long . . . I need to "talk it through" to really process it, I think.

So, I'm in this place, this darkness, that I cannot even describe. Nothing, NOTHING that was a comfort to me before does ANYTHING for me now . . . and I feel lost. Disjointed. Confused. Reading the Word is like chewing on leather, and prayer just seems to just dissipate like mist. Where does that leave me?? Whenever I have had trouble in the past, I simply clung to God and He got me through. So, what happens when He is nowhere to be found - or so it seems? I feel like I'm just stumbling around in the darkness, like I'm drowning in the abyss of life. And I have been fighting it - fighting it like CRAZY!!! When I look back in my journal, I discover that this darkness has been coming down on me for WELL over a year now . . . but I have fought and fought and fought.

Well, a few months ago, I tried a different tactic - I just gave up. I didn't have the energy to fight anymore, and it seemed like God was removing anything and everything that was any comfort to me at all. One-by-one, piece-by-piece, God was pealing back the layers, to leave me not only lost and alone, but also naked and raw. So I shook my fist at God and said (I couldn't even yell anymore - the passion was completely GONE), "Fine. You know where I am God. You know how You made me, how I tick, and You know how to talk to me . . . so, if you ever want, I'm here." And I walked away. I was done. Empty.

Yet . . . I was faced with a problem . . . I have tasted of the world and all it has to offer, and it holds no appeal to me. I still desire the things of God - to do things God's way. The fruits of the world are empty, shallow, bitter. I want nothing of them. Yet the fruits of God seemed to have been ripped away from me . . . and I am just stuck. Starving and alone. I continued going through the motions, because I didn't know what else to do. The world was of no comfort, and the Church and every discipline I've ever learned came up empty . . . .

Well, I've been reading "The Dark Night of the Soul," by Saint John of the Cross . . . WHEW! What a read!! I have discovered that, well, first of all, can I just say that church people, including me, LOVE to throw this term around a lot, but now that I know what it is I don't think I'll do that any more - the dark night is no trifling thing, it is not just a rough patch, a tough time - it is SO MUCH DEEPER, so much more complex than that . . . I can't even say that is where I am right now - that is how thick and rich and deep this concept is. But there are some things in the book that have hit me and hit me HARD. He talks about God stripping us of all things, and how we feel lost, etc . . . but here is the thing, John's response to all of this was completely and TOTALLY opposite of mine. (Figures!) In this darkness, John pursued God even more relentlessly, more passionately, loving Him more than He has even been loved. He wrote love poems to God, and refused to be ignored. He pursued and wooed God!!

Then, I go to a conference and hear a message about Mother Teresa's life. Now, I have read and studied her life, and knew most of the details, but hadn't thought upon them in a while . . . so, imagine my . . . hmmm, shall I say "shock"? when I was reminded that she suffered for the majority of her life (at least in the end) a feeling of separation from God. Her response?? Yep!! She pursued Him, and loved Him more than He had ever been loved . . . "OK, God, it's starting to sink in."

Then I start seeing it everywhere . . . the embrace of darkness. For example: a caterpillar must EMBRACE the darkness in order to become a butterfly. And so . . . I have chosen to embrace this darkness, to be THANKFUL for it. To worship God even when I can't feel or understand His response. I have chosen to woo Him, to pursue and desire Him, just as I desire to be wooed, pursued, desired and loved. Writing Him love letters and poems. Singing to Him love songs, and dancing for Him. To think about Him when I go to sleep, to wonder what He is doing or how He feels. To obsess over Him, just as I would a lover. Just as I desire to be obsessed over.

This is my choice. I do not know if I will emerge from this a butterfly. I don't even know if I'll emerge from this at all, but that doesn't change my choice to get to know every little detail about Him, and to pursue Him until I breathe my very last breath.