The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Out of My Control

I like control.

I never have control.

This is something that I am continually noticing as I progress through my life.  When I graduated from high school, I had a plan.  Screw that.  As I approached my senior year of college, I had a really great plan.  Screw that.  I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Just throw a hammer at that.

Time and again, I am reminded that I am NOT in charge of my own life.  That often makes me nervous (see first sentence in this post).  But then some little thing happens and I become thankful that I’m not in control.  God has a way of popping into my life at the moment when I need Him most…when I am about to get lost in my own head.

I was sitting around, trying to figure out a budget.  As an AmeriCorps member, that is very important.  My income is pretty tiny…and, as anyone can tell you, living is expensive.  So, I have these numbers swimming before me (there are also numbers about volunteering hours, intervention scripts, interstates…but those are for another day).  I am wondering how much I can really afford to spend on food if I want to be able to drive to work.  A new song pops onto Pandora:

I’ve got waves that are tossin’ me

Crashin’ all over my beliefs

And in all sincerity, Lord

I wanna be Yours

You Lead by Jamie Grace

This isn’t a new song to my ears, but in that moment the words were so deep and fresh that it seemed new.  I do not belong to this world or the restrictions of my budget in this world.  I belong to God.  And even when I don’t see how things will work out…He’s got it under control (as long as I don’t busy-body my way in to the driver’s seat).

The song goes on to say, “I know what You got for me is more than I can see.”  Just another reminder that God had waiting for the right moment and the right time.  My eyes pick up on the “right now.”  I have spent the past week in trainings and orientations…and it has been pretty miserable.  My brain is so wrapped up in the details that my heart has lost sight of why I am here.

1) God put me here.

2) I have an opportunity to do what I LOVE.

3) No one expected me to move halfway across the country to not get paid (I love surprising people)…that’s just bonus.

With all of that being said…man, it’s great to be reminded who’s in control.  And fifteen minutes later as I am wrapping up this post, Pandora continues to surprise me.  Who knew that God controlled the radio?!?

How great is our God.

Sing with me….

(Chris Tomlin)

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Time for a Change

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I was trying to find something more.  I knew that I had fallen into the normalcy of being a Christian and I knew that the normalcy was hurting the relationship I was trying to build with God.  In my first post, I said:

“I do not plan on discovering the purpose of life in general.  But, I would like to figure out what exactly God wants of me while I’m here, living.”

As the blog continued, I took readers on a journey through my past.  I talked about the faults in my early years as a Christian and problems that I have with the world today, in my own personal life and in the greater scheme of things.  Most recently, I wrote about the problem I am currently facing, ya know, figuring out my life.  As I have faced this inner (and sometimes outer) turmoil regarding my future, I have taken note of songs that I hear at church.  Almost every week for the past several months, I have taken the time to jot down a few lines from a song that spoke to my heart.

This week, we sang the song “Oh, Love that Will Not Let Me Go” by the Robbie Seay Band.  There is a line that talks about tracing the rainbow through the rain.  But, I didn’t hear “trace”.  I heard “chase”.  Since then, that line has stuck in my mind.  Right now, that’s what I am trying to do.

GOD has something in mind or my life.  Right now though, He isn’t showing himself to me.  I have searched through every crack and crevice that I have found, but He is still silent.  I think that, at this point, maybe I’m not listening well enough or asking the right questions.  That is why I am going to chase a rainbow.

You see, to chase a rainbow, you must focus your eyes, not on the end goal, but on the journey.  If you lose sight of the rainbow or you get distracted by the rain, then you are not going to make it to the end.  And so, I am on a journey to chase the rainbow.  This is no longer about being lukewarm…it is about wholeheartedly committing to a journey…the journey that GOD wants me to take.

Feel free to share about your journey, where it’s taking you or prayers that you need.  You are also welcome to pray for me on my journey!

Leave a comment »

Anything But the Box

We are verging on two months.  My other blog is going strong…but that is irrelevant here.  What is relevant here is that I am beyond the breaking point.

Just over a year ago, I admitted to myself and to those around me that I did not want to be a teacher.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do…but I knew that I didn’t want to settle into a classroom and get stuck there for 30 years.  So, for the past 365+ days, I have been seeking an alternative.  The first thought was social work.  I pursued graduate schools with appropriate programs (I’ve been rejected by one, accepted to another, and told that I will probably get rejected from a third).  In the midst of applications though, I thought that I might want to be a counselor…so, I started looking at psych programs…short-lived ambition.  I set my heart on teaching in France and applied to a program.  One and a half weeks ago (April 4), I received an e-mail rejecting me from that program.

I had just known in my head and my heart that it was so right for me!  I wasn’t ready for graduate school or a “grown-up” job.  I just needed someplace to go for a year while I cleared my head.  It was the perfect scenario–go teach in France for a year and come back with a fresh outlook on my life.  But God broke my heart.

And thus, over the past eleven days, I have gone back to square one, via the five stages of grief…well, I do not think that I have quite made it to the final stage just yet.  At this point, I don’t even know what to think.  I spent some time feeling that the whole world was full of opportunities; but nothing is clicking.  I just want to see one job somewhere…and fall in love with it…the way I did with France.  Nothing is happening, though.

I feel like I need to remind God that I am here and that I am willing to GO.  I want to beg him to let me GO because right now, one of the options is moving back to Arkansas.  Supposedly I could find a job teaching French somewhere down there.  I don’t want to go back to Arkansas.

God, I am willing to move to Africa…Asia…an inner city where my life-expectancy is lessened due to drive-by shootings.  You don’t need me in Arkansas.  DON’T MAKE ME GO BACK IN THE BOX.

That is how I see Arkansas.  I spent the first 18 years of my life there.  The last four have been spent in Missouri…not that much better.  I am itching to get away to a place where people’s minds and hearts are open.  I am tired of people who judge and people who hold tight to tradition.  Anywhere but there…but here…please God.

1 Comment »

Boredom…unacceptable

I have discovered the word that describes my feelings towards student teaching.  Yes, success shall surely be mine.  My hold on the English language has tightened so that my noose is wound around her neck…around that delicate muscle called…

BOREDOM.

Ahh!  Yes, there.  I said it.  I am bored.  I hate myself for admitting that.  I hate myself, even more, for falling into this pit of terror.  Argh.  Yes, that is a sound of pure frustration…with self.

Saint-Malo, France

About a month ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend of mine.  We do that quite often, actually…sit in coffee shops…and talk…for hours.  At our most recent rendez-vous, we discussed boredom.  Our conclusion was that boredom is a state of being in which one chooses to dwell.  For example, you discover that there is nothing good on television on a Friday night.  You say that you’re bored…and yet, sitting on your bed is The Complete Sherlock Holmes.  You choose to dwell in that state of boredom…but there are other options.

Swans

Now, I’m going to take this a step further.  God put us on this Earth with one task: glorify Him.  How in the world, in this mind-blowing, ever renewing, stunning piece of creation (I incorporated photos into this post to remind you of this fact) could we become bored?  And although we have only one task, that task can be completed in a new way, a new place everyday.  We choose to become bored with Christianity because we refuse to look beyond the simple screens (yeah, that was a reference to TV) in front of our eyes.

Tadpoles Playing Hide & Seek

There is a huge world out there that has the potential to drop us to our knees in wonder and lead us to a deeper sense of worship.  Don’t you want that?  Sure, my knees might get a bit beat up (not that it’s a big deal–it happens everytime I go climbing)…but in the long run, I will be stronger and surer of the power that pushes me forward (yeah–totally made some corny climbing references).

Are you ready to stop being bored?  Well then…get ready to fall, my friends.

Leave a comment »

1. Friday: Baking

Yea!  Baking!  I love it…even if I burn myself (twice today)…and make a mess of my kitchen (I do that even if I don’t bake).  Now, I know I said that I was going to make brownies, but I had a change of plans.  The recipe I had planned on using required frosting and I didn’t think that frosting would be ideal since I would have to put them in ziploc baggies.  So…cookies!

…yeah, I know it’s not the best picture but I am trying to share some proof of today’s accomplishment.  I had some leftover (i.e. didn’t need to go in baggies) and I ate them.  They were very yummy.  And the process of baking was, as always, incredibly enjoyable.  There was this one moment when I accidentally pulled my hand mixer off the counter and sent softened butter and cream cheese flying across the kitchen…but I survived (so did my toes).  Other than that, there were no issues.  The smoke detector didn’t even go off…it went off when I was making blueberry muffins one time.  True story.

Also, today, I took time to relax.  I said “no” when I got a call from one of my supervisors at work…someone else was sick and couldn’t work.  I said “no”.  That is a big, good deal for me.  I’m not very good at saying “no”.  But, I have to work 14 hours tomorrow so…I deserved to be free this evening.  And, I thoroughly enjoyed my freedom.

I made this:

Yes…that is a fruit and yogurt parfait with granola…homemade granola!  It was very delightful.  I used frozen blueberries…but those are my favorite for stuff like this.  When you defrost the berries, they juice just enough to give a hint of blueberriness to everything surrounding them…granola, yogurt, milk (when use as a cereal topping)…they are just fabulous.  I’ve also used them for blueberry tea.  They are just so delightful!

I didn’t spend the whole afternoon eating my parfait…although that might have been just lovely.  I also did something that I haven’t done in a while…well, two somethings actually.  I rode my bike and I took some photographs (besides these pathetic excuses for food photography).  I biked down to a little park that is near my house and just enjoyed myself.  I stuck a book in my bag too…got started on that (I’m preparing for Tuesday).  It was so enjoyable!  I like scaling back my life and savoring the little things.  Today?  Baking, biking, and a bit of a book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, while work will consume most of tomorrow (14 hours–ugh), I can look forward to one beautiful thing: stargazing.  So, that seems like a pathetic way to leave a blog post.

I have a bit of advice for you.  Even if your day seems crappy, find something beautiful to hold on to…whether it be the flowers outside your office, a really fabulous cup of coffee, or magical future plans…hold on to that piece of beauty…savor it…and know that there is always more beauty to find in the world.

1 Comment »

Employment

I have found employment, after looking since April.  And, the application that resulted in this current position…yes, it was submitted in April.  On the 25th to be exact and I was hired on June 30th.  Yeah.

So, this job.  I am working at a group home where eight ladies with developmental disabilities dwell.  I cook meals.  I clean.  I give showers.  I wipe tushies.  Yep.  True story…every day that I go to work I wipe at least one tushie and change at least one adult diaper.  It happens (I was just incredibly tempted to make an inappropriate comment).  The job itself isn’t so bad.  I randomly have down time when there’s no laundry to fold, no meal to prepare, and no one who needs changing.  And the ladies who live there aren’t difficult to deal with…as a general rule.

But…as always, there’s a “but” (either grammatically or, well, to wipe)…my coworkers are frustrating.  They’re always in a tiff with someone else, talking about someone else behind their back, nit-picking…grr.  So, what did I do?  I decided that I needed something new on my mirror.  I started looking at a verse about doing everything for God’s glory…which I truly need to think about.  But, I moved on towards focusing on love and such…here’s what I found:

Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

When I was in high school, I tried this thing for a while where I memorized Bible verses…or, chunks at a time, I guess.  I memorized these verses as part of one of those chunks.  So, when I came across these verses in my randomized searches, I grabbed ahold of them.  Like I said last time though, my mirror is kind-of small and I like to write big.  Obviously, this chunk won’t fit.  My “mirror words” are going to be: “Inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  I like it, don’t you?

Once I started working, my life got CRAZY.  I’m taking classes–which takes time to go to class and a ton of time to do homework.  Plus, while I started working I was also starting a ton of training classes.  Last week, I worked 38 hours and was in training for 10…or something outrageous like that.  Oh, and I still have to manage to keep my home looking decent, food in my fridge (that’s actually getting a little low now), and my body in decent shape (that’s a total fail–I went and got ice cream tonight).

So, after this past week, I was wiped out.  I really wanted a day to zone out, time to find inner peace and quiet.  That was supposed to be today…but I ended up working…at 6 am.  But, ya know what?  I decided that the 6 am shift is my favorite.  And, then I found this verse.  I don’t need to sleep in late to find renewal.  True renewal comes from somewhere beyond my power.  Renewal comes from God.

Let me be renewed as deeply as the sun sets around the earth.

Leave a comment »

Kiss of the Horizon

I think that it is time to write something new on my mirror, don’t you?  So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now…well, since last time.  Last time, I kept coming back to the song “How He Loves” by the David Crowder*Band.  I can’t remember the first time that I heard this song and I definitely can’t remember the first time that I stopped to think about the words.  At some point in time though, I stopped to reflect on them.  On their power.  Their truth.  Their significance in my own life.  In case you have not heard the song, try this link: How He Loves (hopefully that works…fingers crossed).

So, what words have I decided to take to heart over the next couple of weeks?  Which words will be engraved on my heart so that I might remember where I have come from and my purpose here on Earth?

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss

And my heart turns violently inside my chest.

I don’t have time to maintain these regrets

When I think about the way…

He Loves.

I cannot express in words just how powerful all of those words are in my heart.  Somethings stirs deep inside.  Something gets excited (don’t start thinking dirty thoughts, please).  He Loves, yes.  But, how does he love?

God loves me with a power and a passion that cannot be compared to any love that we mere humans have ever experienced.  We cannot fathom the depths or height of the love that comes from God.  He loves us more than I love coffee.  And, He loves us more than a parent loves a child.  He loves us when we are living good “Christian” lives.  And, more importantly, he loves us when we screw up beyond repair.  I cannot find the words to express this love…I give up.

Moving on…how do I know that He loves?  What is that line–“heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss”…yes.  Have you ever seen the horizon?  Have you ever felt the desire to chase after the horizon just to try and find the end?  The horizon is the unending kiss demonstrating the love of God.  How wonderfully divine is that?

I may not write that whole little verse on my mirror…I like to write kind-of big so that I can read the words…and my mirror isn’t huge.  We’ll see.  But, just thinking about one line will remind me of the song and the emotion that fills my heart every time that I hear this part of the song.  Whenever I hear it, my heart “turns violently inside of my chest and I don’t have time to maintain these regrets” because I have no choice but to reflect on the eternal love of God.

Leave a comment »

Beautiful Things

Have you heard of “Gungor”?  That’s okay…it took me a while too.  Here, check them out: http://gungormusic.com/.  They have this song called “Beautiful Things”.  I like it.  The first time I heard it, I was at church.  We sang it a few times, and I always liked thinking about the words: “You make beautiful things out of us.”

That’s crazy, right?  And, then we used it as a reflection/prayer/thinking song at a girls’ Bible study one night.  And, then I finally got around to looking up the words and really really thinking about them.  They are so powerful!  I love them.  They are so true!  I can apply them to my life!

So, that power…did you read my last post?  That’s okay if you didn’t…I’m not sure that I did.  I was reflecting on God’s power and how easy it is to forget about that power and how present it can be in our lives at the present moment (haha, yes I meant to do that).  I took those French words and I wrote them on my mirror with a dry erase marker…snazzy, I know.  I saw them when I was getting ready in the morning and it was nice to just stop and reflect (whoa–another punny thing) on them.

This week, I decided to change my words: “Out of chaos life is being found in God.”  (I put in “God” instead of “you” so that I wouldn’t think that life was coming from chaos through me…that is definitely not true…I am chaos).  And, I also wrote “you make beautiful things”…I’m pretty sure I’ll remember that that one is God.  I am looking forward to getting ready in the morning (crazy since I get ready at 7 am–ew) and seeing those words.  Hopefully they will set the tone for my day and for the coming week (which looks to be fairly normal–yea!).  If I can remember that, no matter what chaos seems to be attacking me, like a midterm (yeah, I do have one of those), beauty is hiding somewhere.  I just have to patiently wait on the POWER of God to reveal itself.  He’ll put those rose colored glasses on me and I shall find the BEAUTY in the chaos…the pain…the stress…ah, those things that are my life…in which God finds beauty.  Gotta love an optimist.

Leave a comment »

Losing Sight of the Power

Do you ever feel as if something in your life is just a little bit “off”…but you can’t say what is “off”?  Do you ever feel as though you are losing control of everything that you once controlled?  Do you ever feel so lost that you just want to give up and just be lost?

I sure hope that someone, at some point in time, has felt at least one of these things.  These feelings, and others that I cannot put into words, have been overwhelming my body and soul for the past couple of weeks.  There have been some fairly big changes going on for me recently, so maybe that is contributing to my pseudo-depression.  Or maybe I just have too much spare time on my hands to wallow in self-loathing, self-pity, self-insultations.

Last night, I sat on the landing in my apartment and just…cried…or wept.  I don’t know which verb is better fitting for the situation.  I pulled myself together and took care of some things–finding dinner, doing laundry, cleaning up, studying for a math test.  And then, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I felt those feelings seeping back up the surface so I turned to the internet–yeah!

I started searching for “inspiring Bible verses” online and, eventually, I came across one that had inspired me a while back: 2 Timothy 1:7.  I flipped through various versions/interpretations of the verse using http://www.biblegateway.com (my go-to Bible verse resource).  One of the versions said “calm” instead of “self-discipline”…and I needed calm.  But, that still wasn’t clicking right.  So, I went to the French versions and came across a French version of the verse that spoke to my heart.  It used the words: fort, amourant, et sagesse (strength, love, and wisdom).

I wrote it on my mirror so that, when I got up this morning, I would remember that I have no reason to be timid.  God has granted me everything that I need to get up and make each day count towards glorifying him with every ounce of my body (fort), heart (amourant), and mind (sagesse).

He has the power to make me, and you, better people.  He has the power to draw us into his arms and make the pain fade as we embrace the peace that lies within his love.

Leave a comment »

On Being Spit

If you are familiar with the Bible, then you’ve probably heard the verse about lukewarm water being an abomination to God..and, thus, you know where the title of this blog comes from.  But, you may not know why exactly.

Actually, it should be pretty clear.  I am a lukewarm Christian.  There was a point, this past summer, when I completely admitted to myself and to God that I doubted his existence.  It was one of those painfully brutal moments…I was sitting in the prayer chapel of a church in France.  There were three other people down there.  Two were noisy, obnoxious tourists and one was down there trying to enjoy some quiet.  And, then there was me.  The chairs were wooden and the floors were concrete.  It was cold and damp.  I just looked up at the names engraved in the ceiling and wondered where God really was…where He would be.

I let my mind run its course and it finally led me to the conclusion that “God might not exist.”  I sat in that basement just letting that thought roll around in my head…like a piece of hard candy.  Only this piece of candy lasted for a while.  It was still there when I sat in a pew at my home church next to my parents.  By the time I returned to school this fall though, it was a very tiny piece of candy.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that I will ever be free from this piece of sugary torture.  I am a logical person and God is not completely logical…ever.  I look at my life and I feel as though he has been there.  There are particular moments when I know that he was there…but then there are moments when I can’t help but wonder: Why?  How?

What the hell is going on with this world that we live in?  I feel like the my life, that the whole world, is spinning out of control and absolutely nothing, short of an incredibly large meteorite, is going to stop it.  Moments in my life my heart is so on fire for God that I can barely stand it.  Then, though, there are the moments when my heart is so cold that it feels like it might burn my soul.  So cold that it’s hot.

Yet I’m still a lukewarm Christian.  An abomination to God.

Leave a comment »