Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The other day, when I was confused and worried and unsure about things in my life, my dear friend and mentor, Amy, told me to fix my eyes on Jesus. She asked me what Jesus would do in those situations and pointed out that He probably wouldn't have been selfishly looking at Himself. Then she said the most beautiful thing to me. She said, "I hope in ten years, when we meet for coffee in the cities, we will both walk away from each other saying, 'She is more like Jesus.'" That is just the most beautiful thing. Such peace filled my heart from that conversation. Then she prayed this verse, Hebrews 12, over me. That is my hope for you today, too, dear friend. That wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you would fix your eyes upon Him today.
Tonight I painted blobs of color because sometimes that's the only way I can express anything.
Tonight I felt things deeply. I don't even know what I felt. Lots of things. But tonight I don't want to sort through any of them, even though it's bothering me that I don't exactly know all of what I feel.
Tonight I read stories and heard songs about people hurting and agonizing over God's distance and the pain their soul felt in that distance.
Tonight I deeply appreciated the authenticity and real-ness of these stories.
Tonight I felt like I failed God.
Tonight I think I resisted community.
Tonight truth was spoken into my mind through John Mark Comer's words.
Tonight my soul is sad for the people who don't know who Jesus is. And tonight I realized I don't know how to love them like He would.
Tonight I looked at the pictures on my wall and realized that not one of the faces does not know Jesus. This makes me realize that maybe I'm letting my comfort bubble close in on me again.
Tonight, I'm not meaning to depress you or burden you with my thoughts, or write for the sake of empathy.
Tonight I just wanted to be real.
Because Jesus was real. And Jesus felt things deeply, too.
Tonight I will rest, knowing that God is okay with me being on a journey, and not having everything all figured out.
I love how I am so familiar with that freckled nose. I love how I know the face Paige makes when she's making a "Paige" face. I love how I still remember silly conversations we had when I was eight and she was five and we shared a bunk bed. I love how we know each other's "heart things" (things that touch our hearts the most) because we know each other so well. I love how she was the one who was my best friend before I knew any other best friends. I love how she makes fun of me (: & I love how she listens to me. I love how Paige knows me, more than most people do. I love that I can know Paige for her whole life, since the day she was born.
She's a senior now and she sent me some of her senior pics the other day. I'm just so proud of the person she is. She loves people really well. And she really loves Jesus. What an honor it is to be her sister. Truly an honor.
Sometimes I think about how of all the people who ever were and ever will be, God put Paige and my other sister, Sidney, with me. And I just love that He did that. What a beautiful thought. I'm so grateful for this beautiful human being.
I love these pictures of my aunt, Tia. She's always been Tia to me. Her real name is Karen, but I didn't find out until I was at least seven that that is her name. (:
When I was little, my favorite memory of Tia is when she took me to the James J Hill House in St. Paul, just the two of us, and we walked through the old-fashioned rooms, soaking in the ways of another world, it seemed. I have loved that place ever since and that memory is particularly special to me.
She still does that: shows me beauty. Beauty that fills the soul. I am constantly amazed at her depth and the way she sees the world with such wonder... her capacity to be moved, to notice detail, to seek out knowledge: about culture, about art, about writing, about me. She deeply loves language and words and has always encouraged me to write, and write often. She is one of the reasons I have kept blogging these years.
If there is anything I can say about this woman it is that her depth comes from Jesus. And it's really wonderful.
And as of yesterday, this woman has been finding and bringing beauty to the world for fifty years! I'm so grateful to God for such a well-lived life.
I love you, Tia. So thankful to celebrate you. Honored to be loved by you.
^^^So there's this blog.
I have been following it for about two years now, and in that time it has brought deep and meaningful wisdom to little eighteen-year-old Freshman Alexi with curiosity about how to be a godly woman, and it has shaped me into a twenty-year-old Junior that still doesn't have it figured out (I don't think I ever totally will) and has brought areas of my heart that closer to Jesus because of the convictions, thoughts, and joys that have been written- each in very deep ways. I love it so much, don't be surprised if I pass along links to this treasure often. I suspect I will do this quite a bit, so I made a category link on the right (: That's how much I love it!
I thank God for this woman (the author), Diane Comer, through whom He is speaking, as well as the beautiful church based in Portland, Oregon, called Solid Rock, with which the blog is associated. I so wish I could call it my church. Maybe one day? (:
But anyways, I wanted to share this post especially because it's like she read my journal and knew what I needed to hear today or something! I hope it touches you, too. (Who am I kidding, all of her posts touch me!)
bahaha! This is my favorite commercial. I laugh out loud every time I see it! ..Even if it's by myself in my room before class.. (:
Happy Wednesday, all! Hope this brought a little joy.
My friend, Becca, and also a speaker at IVLI this summer introduced me to this set of choices and it is humbling my heart on this Friday morning. Friend, want to choose these things with me today?
IT’S QUIET. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world
is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must
make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
I choose love . . .
No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants
bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy . . .
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical . . . the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will
refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace . . .
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience . . .
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to
pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness . . .
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind,
for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness . . .
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness . . .
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come
I choose gentleness . . .
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control . . .
I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my
spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose
self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my
faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I
succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when
this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
-Max Lucado (from his book When God Whispers Your Name)