Wait..you're family?

I'm at home. Well, with family. Well, with blood-kin. 

But my 4 year old cousins, one doesn't know my name and the other didn't know who I was, though she was quite friendly anyhow. 

That's a little hard to take, especially since names, like stories, are really important to me. (By the way, if you want to call me by a nickname, "Stace" is my favorite. Like Stacy, without the "E" sound. Second best, "Stacy-face.") I don't want to but I think I have to get used to that, at least some. Since I'll be at school for one more semester, in South Carolina during the summer, and in California for 10 months after that with AmeriCorps. 

Jesus said in Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple."

That sucks. Because I love my mom, my brother, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, and my cousins to pieces. And I'm being drawn to places where they are not. And it's hard to love someone you haven't SEEN more than those you can hug, run with, skip with, color with, get food and drink for, and make up stories about a bird and two spiders in a birdbath with. 

I guess that's why Jesus also says in Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of thesebrothers of mine, you did for me.'" To me this means that everytime I hug, run with, skip with, color with, get food and drink for, and make up stories about a bird and two spiders in a birdbath with those cousins of mine (two 4 year olds, a 10 year old, and an almost 14 year old), I'm really doing all those things with Jesus. 


And I can tell.

It's really those times when I'm with people who feel the same pain I do (go here for a definition of that people) and when I'm around kids and pre-teens and teens that I really sense Jesus, that I really know God. That's why I'm so relaxed when I should be frickin' out this semester, usually. My Father has blessed me in the past couple of weeks to be able to play with kids a few times; He knew that's what I needed most.

But it's still going to be EXTREMELY hard for me to up and leave my family for long periods of time, especially my mom. (I'm even getting a little choked up about it now.) BUT GOD. He's worth it, and I will spend eternity with Him, and with my mom, who will then be able to do the things she loves all the time and her beauty will shine more than it does even now. Dang it tears, go away...

<< Jesus come soon >>


SIMWs #4

While eating some Cinnamon Teddy Grahams, I got to the bottom of the box and saw the tens of tiny little bear feet and some ears. I think next time I get Teddy Grahams I will patch up the broken bones/cartilage before I crunch them. 

While buying said Teddy Grahams, I reduced my meal point account down to 39 cents. Sad? Yes. Until you realize that 39 cents is just enough to buy a cookie. 

While doing an immense amount of griping to my friend, I turned to Facebook. I watched the video of Andrew Black stuffing a syrup-and-butter-laden pancake into the pocket of his overalls. No more griping.

Oh, and that gum is still on my wall...

More Phil that Fills...

Yes yes, beloved, more Phil Wickham is on the way! I have recently fallen for his music, Jimmy Needham, and renewed my love for The Glorious Unseen.

This song is called "Heaven Song." mmmmm....

You wrote a letter and You signed Your name
I read every word of it page by page
You said that You'd be coming, coming for me soon
Oh my God I'll be ready for You

'Cause I wanna run on greener pastures
I wanna dance on higher hills
I wanna drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing
My heaven song

I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
"Well done my child, enter in and rest"
As tears of joy roll down my cheek
Oh, it's beautiful beyond my wildest dreams

Oh, 'cause I wanna run on greener pastures
I wanna dance on higher hills
I wanna drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
And I can't wait to join the angels and sing
No I can't wait to join the angels and sing
My heaven song

My gosh how good is that. You should, almost need, to go listen to it.

He forgot kayaking though. We will kayak and hike in the new creation. (I know.) 

I can't wait to see Jesus. To meet my Father. To finally feel, actually FEEL His arms around me, holding me like I've been begging Him to do for so long. Just holding me until it's all gone, all the hurt, doubt, pain, fear, loneliness, and whatever else is just...gone...forever. 

My God I want that so badly. Jesus come soon! My heart yearns to be with You. This earth hurts souls that were meant to exist in joy and glory and bliss and love and beauty. You. 

God sustains me. He's the only way I'm still alive, physically, emotionally, mentally. And what parts of me are dead or dying, He is reviving. That's a little scary, because I'm crazy inside. 

That's why I'm so eternally grateful for those souls I meet that hurt as I do, for the same reasons, and acknowledge those reasons. That's why I'm so eternally grateful for those souls that know hope lies only in God, in Christ, and in the restoration He brings. That's why I'm so eternally grateful for those souls who are willing to incur even more hurt by striving to bring the Kingdom here through peace, love, joy, hope, and Christ. 

They know, as I know, that LIFE is not on this version of earth anymore, except that which God brings. And God brings it, boy does He bring it. But He brings it through us, His portion.

And so to Jes, Jon, Ruth, Emily, Amanda, Jaime, Kevin, Stephen, Lauren Brewer, Laura, Nate, Matt, Jamal, Stuart, Kevin, Lacey, Rachael, Riley, Ruth Ann, Anna Beth, Lauren Pilcher, Tjader, and anyone else I may have forgotten but whose soul resonates with this...Thanks for hurting with me. 

It will be worth it. Because they're worth it. BECAUSE HE'S WORTH IT.


O, for a thousand tongues to sing!

I love Phil Wickham's music. His song "Beautiful" just came on. Here are the lyrics:

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the   light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who you are
You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful

I see Your face, I see Your face, I see Your face
You're beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful

That's all I need when I lose track of where I am and where I'm going. Right there.
That's when I know that my God is good, that He is powerful, and that He is beautiful. That's why I struggle so much when I'm not outside in places where His creation is so overwhelming. That's why I struggle when His beauty is not displayed in the faces of the people around me, even though they claim Him. 

And I'm no better than they. I am so judgmental. Just because I have the gift (sometimes it's a burden) of being able to imagine a much better world of love, peace, and beauty, and knowledge doesn't mean I have the right to be angry with (or pity) those who don't. I just wish they could see as I do. It's a beautiful sight, even when it makes my heart cry that it's not what I see when I open my eyes.

I don't want to start a fight, or an argument, or an emotional discussion. I want people to understand that every human has a soul. And every soul is a creation of the Father. And that Father hurts for those who don't know that He is their father. And these fatherless don't deserve our anger, our weapons, our hurtful glances and words, our apathy, our selfishness, our blame, or our criticism. 

Not from us, who were once them. Who were once deserving (and still are) of the total wrath of God, just as they are. How quickly we forget from whence we came. 

Such wrath they will endure if we do not reach out and pull them from danger. In order to pull someone from danger into safety, you have to go into, or at least near, the danger yourself. But what are we afraid of? No one can harm us. They can take our comfortable, opulent lifestyles; they can take our rights; they can take our Bibles; they can take our houses; they can even take our lives (but not our SOULS). But isn't it worth it!?!?! Aren't they worth it? 

I think so. Call me liberal. Call me stupid, ignorant, idealistic. I don't care.

Because if you do, you would probably call Jesus that too.


I'm free, but not dangerous

I'm a pretty scary person sometimes.
That's a lie. 
I'm never scary. 
I'm an average height-ed, blond-ish, middle-weight-ed, 20 year old Caucasian girl from a very small town in southwest Virginia. Nothing about me is threatening. I don't even like guns (I couldn't make myself shoot one when I had the opportunity a couple weeks ago). 

But sometimes people are afraid of my dreams. My hopes scare them. (Sorry Mom, I know I scare you too often. I love you.)  

Today, under the guidance of Phil Joel's deliberatePeople study, I read this: "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."

I took it out of context, obviously, but it hit me like crazy anyway. You know I've been dealing with not wanting this:  

and instead wanting this:

Well, dear ones, please trust that wherever my heart and passions may be there also is my Father, who is the Protector of the fatherless, and a Provider to the widow. You should know which of those I am. You don't really know me until you know my story (and I don't know you until I know yours so please tell me. I LOVE STORIES!)

Am I afraid? Yes, I tell God that almost everyday, and I usually cry when I do because I know I shouldn't be but it still hurts to not KNOW. I don't understand why He trusts me with stuff, any stuff at all. I'm still afraid of being alone, really alone. Of not being understood by family (whether Jesus-blood or human-blood). Of being forgotten and left behind. 

BUT GOD....has shown Himself faithful to me and mine in the past...has given me the fire and willingness to suffer for Love as He did...has died and raised Himself back to life to give me LIFE and so I don't HAVE to be afraid. I wish I could listen to my own self sometimes, because I scare myself sometimes. And Eleanor Roosevelt told me to do something everyday that scares me. 

I rode a horse for the first time today. Thanks, Rocky, for not throwing me off.