The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

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

An Affair To Remember

Last Sunday (as in–not yesterday), I heard a sermon about love (how great is it that someone was willing to by-pass the typical 9/11 spiel to talk about something as beautiful and pure as love?!).  But, it wasn’t exactly about loving others when they do bad things.  It was about developing a loving, passionate relationship between me and God.

Relationships are not my forte.  To be blunt, I suck at relationships.  I prefer to be independent and self-centered…especially independent.  I don’t like thinking about how I am incapable of controlling my own life or developing a path to success for myself.  In reality, success should not be my ultimate goal…unless success is defined as: falling in love with God over and over and over again.  And, I am far from qualified to control my own life.  I have no experience in control (unless you count the attempts I have made over the past 21 years).

This blog is rambling on and on…this, I know.  I should get to the point…a point!  I want to fall hopelessly and eternally in love with God.  But, that is terrifying because when you FALL, by definition, you have no control over what is happening or where you are headed.

I’m slightly a control freak…Type A…perfectionist…OCD…there are plenty of labels that work and they have all been used to refer to moi.  Now, I have something to be proud of–I’m not as control freak-ish as I was three years ago when I started college (most people get more organized/controlled/etc…I did the opposite).  Nevertheless, I am still terrified of letting go of EVERYTHING…signing over all the control to God (He’s the one who actually has it…right?)…and falling.

Love affairs are typically spontaneous.  They break the rules.  They inspire new feelings and new discoveries.  Let’s hope my love affair goes so “well”.

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4. Monday: Unplugged

Disclaimer: Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to completely unplug.  What did I “plug” into?  My phone (1: I was helping a family move in and I needed to touch base with them and 2: Someone called me to work for them one day later this week) and my DVD player (I needed a Cary Grant fix).

BUT, there was NO computer usage.  That is a really big deal for me.  I even took my computer on vacation this summer…to Gatlinburg, Tn.  How lame am I?  I did have an excuse though–online class.  It did a really good job of messing up my summer all around.  But, we’re over that and we’re moving on to a discussion of yesterday!

It started bright and early with a 7-9 am shift at work.  No big deal.  Then, I helped that family move in.  I continued the theme from Sunday, “Kids”, since this family has three kids under the age of six.  Part of the time, I just kept them corralled out of the way (things like refrigerators and monstrous dressers require a clear pathway).  I was really sweaty after that, so I took a shower.  Then I ate lunch.  And went out…to go shopping…ugh.  But, I got new shoes:  

I have wanted a pair of Pumas since I first saw some of the sleek looking sneakers.  And, I kinda sorta (if you stretch it really, really far) had a good reason to get them.  My knees & hips have been sore lately.  I blame it on (a) standing on concrete floors all the time at work and home and (b) bad shoes.  Thus…new shoes!  Legit, good for you, supportive shoes.  I also got groceries yesterday.  Ugh…why is food so expensive?  Anyways…being unplugged.  Between the 6 am wake-up call (and after midnight pillow and head rendez-vous) and lifting heavy stuff for three hours, I was exhausted.  So, I fixed myself some macaroni and cheese!


 Yeah, it’s the blue box stuff–I’m picky about my mac & cheese.  Anyways, yesterday was a really great day for me because of the mac & cheese . You see, I have, historically speaking, had big issues with macaroni and cheese: it’s always lumpy.  Since the very first time that I tried to make the yummy, gooey mess of unhealthiness, I have always ended up with clumps of the sauce powder ruining the whole dish.  And yesterday, at age 21, I managed to make perfect macaroni and cheese.  Feel free to be impressed.

I wrapped up my evening by starting on a scrapbook for spring break (road trip, camping, couchsurfing…pure awesomeness!), assisted by Mr. Cary Grant–gotta love him.  It was fabulous.  And, you know what?  The whole day made me think–gotta love brain power.

I thought about how much time I waste on my computer…especially in comparison to how much time I spend doing other things that are even awesomer (is that a word?  spell check doesn’t think so…oh well).  This might have been the greatest thing I’ve gotten out of the past five days: time is of the essence…don’t waste it in a virtual world!

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3. Sunday: Kids!

Okay, okay.  I realize that it has been merely hours since I put up a review of my stargazing/moongazing experience.  But, I’ve gotta go ahead and get Sunday on here…otherwise I’ll be really backed up when Tuesday rolls around since, ya know, I’m unplugging tomorrow.  It will be challenging…especially since I never know when I might get called in to work or another important call/text will come in.  So, here’s what I decided: alternate hours when I can check my phone.  from 6-7 am, I can check my phone.  Then, I have to turn it off for a couple of hours.  Then from, umm, 9-10 I can use my phone.  It has to go away after that until noon…or something like that.  Anyways, that’s tomorrow.  And now…today…kids!

Children’s church was entertaining as always.  Normally I work in the 5+ classroom, but today I was helping out with ages 3-5…and they are hilarious little creatures.  We colored today.  Watching kids color is great.  One little boy was so brilliantly meticulous…his butterfly was lovely!  And then there was the road…we built a road with blocks.  Some boys decided that it would make a book hurdle to jump over…they almost ran into the wall a couple of times.  Oh, and the lemur.

One of the little boys had this little lemur toy.  A lemur–yes!  I don’t know why he had a lemur…but it made me smile.  Kids make me smile as a general rule.  They know how to have fun without holding back.  They savor life and each tiny experience in a way that is nearly impossible once you learn what homework is.  I look at my life and I see all of these little problems (I just ate a whole bag of potato chips; I need to take the trash out; I need to mop the kitchen; I had to work late tonight…).  I don’t look past all of that and see the beauty (I just ate a whole bag of yummy chips; My trash could be smelling way worse–I know because it has; If I wear shoes in the kitchen, I won’t notice that it’s dirty; I have a job!).  You just have to put things in perspective…blocks don’t have to be limited to building…they can be hurdles too!

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Losing Time

Do you ever get the feeling that life is just rushing by?  Do you ever feel like you want to hit a pause button just so that you have the opportunity to catch your breath?  Do you ever feel like you have missed that one crucial moment that had the potential to shape the rest of your life?

Good grief.  That’s pretty depressing to think about.  I’m in college.  These are supposed to be the best days of my life.  Instead, I feel like the energizer bunny…running on coffee and the drive to succeed…and the hope that I’ll get to sleep when I’m dead.  Seriously.  There are days when I have just had to tell myself over and over and over “You can sleep when you’re dead”.  I will reiterate: that’s pretty depressing.

We have now established how depressing it is to reflect on the rapid passing of time.  So, what should we do about it?  Or–not “we”, I suppose.  What am I going to do about it?  Here’s how I plan on trying (this will get back around to the “lukewarm christian” part…maybe):

  1. Unplug.  I am too dependent on technology.  I’ll admit that.  I was without my cell phone for five hours this evening…near torture.
  2. Bake.  I’m already planning on doing this Friday…and the best part?  I don’t have to eat all of the brownies that I’ll be making.  I’m taking them to church!!!
  3. Go stargazing.  I love stars and since I live in an urban-ish/city-like area, it’s hard to see the stars.  I want to see them so badly though…I’m going to set aside a night to go for a drive, find some darkness, and reflect on the vastness and beauty of God’s creation.
  4. Hang out with some kids.  I’m helping with children’s church on Sunday!  Nothing can renew your heart like the heartfelt smiles and quibbles of kids.  It is their hearts after which mine should be fashioned…yes?
  5. Read.  During the first two weeks of summer, I read six books.  I’ve read one since then.  I want to read a book in the one and a half weeks that I have until classes start back up.  I have several on my shelf…it’s decision time!

Okay.  That’s a nice list of five.  And, now I should get back to the “Lukewarm Christian”part…yeah.  Wow.  Poor planning.  I don’t know how I’m going to do that.

God wants us to enjoy life…yes?  I think he does.  Like any parent, His heart is filled with joy when He gets to see His kids enjoying life.  When I allow myself to get so caught up in the quibbles of classes and the cattiness of work, I lose sight of why I am here.  I am here to revel in the glory of God and worship Him with every ounce of my being.  Gotta get back to the reveling!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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God is Good…still

You know how easy it is to forget the stuff that you really want to remember?

Sometimes it is hard for me to remember how good God really is.  It is easy for me to get bogged down by all of the details of life…like tests and presentations and piano juries (which all went quite well, thank you very much).  Or, just the little things like fixing dinner and cleaning my room (if you could see my room, you might not consider this a “little” thing).  Life just has a way of overwhelming me.  It doesn’t happen that it doesn’t take much to send me running to hide in a corner away from sensory stimulation.  I like simple things.  I like small groups of people.  Big crowds make me uncomfortable.  Cluttered desks make me nervous.  And, dirty kitchen counters make me want to cry.  So, it’s easy for me to forget how good God is.

How is it that I remember partial biographies of jazz artists (I learned them earlier semester and then whipped one out at a wedding this weekend–Astrud Gilberto), several developmental theorists, and a handful of French tenses…but I forget how good God is.  Should that idea be ingrained in my memory by now?  That is how my life began…that is the opening line in the story of my life–no.  It’s the dedication!

It all makes sense now.  No one ever reads the dedication of a book.  Maybe I should think about this a little more.  I have this life story written in a book somewhere…by God.  Yes, he is the author (He has more experience than any of the authors being published today…and more copies sold!).  Chapter 1 began with the story of my parents…and somewhere along Chapter 6 I was baptized…and somewhere around Chapter 19 I almost gave up on God…now, we’re almost to Chapter 21 (yeah!).  But, let’s go back to the dedication.

………

I don’t really know what it says.  I don’t want to try to put words in God’s mouth. But maybe it goes something like this “To the world–may she be a shining example of my love.”  No, that’s too good for me.  “To the world–teach her so that she can teach others”–I like it, but still too good.

“To her–so that she my know I am here and I am Love.”

I think I like that one.

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God is Good

February 25th…wow, talk about an epic fail at blogging.  But, I have an excuse–kind-of.  I don’t really like to make excuses.  Just explanations.  So, an explanation: look at my planner.  The sky begins falling right around, hmm, February 25th.  Yep.

The assignments began piling up.  Spring break ran me over.  Extra-curricular responsibilities threatened my sanity.  Life was CHAOTIC.  And now, here I am: in finals week.  I have three things to do this week: presentation, test, piano jury.  There are five days in the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday . All three of my things occur on one of those days: Wednesday.  Can’t they be spread out?

No.   That’s enough of the wining.  That’s all I have done for the past week.  I just need to smile and be happy…but it’s hard to be happy when I’m losing a roommate!  That is sad.  She’s transferring next semester, so it’ll just be two of us in an off-campus apartment next semester.  The one that is leaving is the one who keeps us grounded…life might get a bit crazy.

But we can do it!  I am so blessed just to be able to live off-campus…finally.  We a snazzy young lady that I enjoy hanging out with.  And, we’re going to have a great landlord.  The whole process has been–and continues to be hectic.  But, ya know what?  Life is good.

Life is what you make it and I choose to make it good…because God is good.

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