Monday, August 17, 2009

The Dressing Room Conversion: A Tale of Shopping Gone Awry (Perhaps for the Good of Mankind)

Bear with me here as I am truly already half asleep yet my mind is a blur with many blog-worthy least thoughts I deem as blog-worthy...and since I am the author of this blog, you will have no choice but to agree...or stop reading...but please just agree and continue.

Announcement of the day:

Unless something unforeseen, unexpected, dramatic, and rather ugly takes place, I will be going to India on a missions trip with Rock Harbor Church for 2 weeks at the end of December.

Thank goodness I don't have to come up with the always dreaded plan for New Years...cheers to ringing in 2010 halfway across the globe! Perhaps I will have a pleasant holiday this time...but that (plus the fact that I usually endure rather drab New Years celebrations) is neither here nor there. Really, neither is the fact that I am going on this trip, I just needed the appropriate segue into the real meat and potatoes...

Considering the trip at hand and other life lessons of late, I have really changed the way in which I spend and look at money. I have always been rather self-indulgent when it comes to spending money and to my deep dismay and shame, I have learned the hard way how to control my spending. I am quite happy to report that I have been doing astonishingly well. I have managed to not only stop buying most things I deem as unnecessary, but I have also saved a little money too.

Then today happened.

I caught wind a couple of weeks ago about a mythical Forever 21 that was the size of a department store. I tried to plug my ears and hum a tune of distraction, but something in me needed to see if said oasis of shopping really existed. After waiting patiently for pay day, my roommate and I jutted off to the mecca of "cheap" shopping and found this place to be very real indeed. I set a budget before walking in the door knowing that I was bound to negotiate myself into spending far greater sums of money than was even close to necessary. Needless to say (as any fan of Forever would know) I was immediately overwhelmed upon walking through the doors. I shopped to my little heart's content telling myself that I could take anything and everything into the dressing room as long as I came out only buying what fit into my strict budget. I loaded up on items liberally and finally made my way to the dreaded 3-way-mirror-chamber-of-despair. While trying on my plethora of treasures, something strange happened. I was suddenly reminded of my new (and still settling) monetary mindset and felt that though many items looked and fit cute, it was easy to talk myself out of buying them. Why spend for the sake of spending? It all became meaningless and extremely empty and my school-girl giddiness faded into a practical outlook about my uber-consumerism and how I didn't want to live that way anymore. I couldn't help but think of India and other places in the world where none of this would even matter...and should I end up in any of these places someday, I would be no better off having purchased any of this stuff here and now.

I own a lot of things. A lot of clothing. I like to feel fashionable, accessorized, confident in the way in which I present myself...none of which are bad things, if kept within a reasonable amount of moderation. But I realized, rarely in my life have I lived in serious and disciplined moderation, not because I have to but because I want to be a good steward of the things I have been blessed with and exercise strength of character.

I hope and pray that someday the Lord will use me to reach those in far off places, overseas, and in countries where giant Forever 21s don't matter. I want to change my outlook, I want to live for the things that are important, but mostly I want to find true joy in the things that really matter, things eternal...not fleeting.

And so, to end this epic tale of shopping woe, I did in fact walk out of the store with a couple items that I have since decided to return in the spirit of just not needing them. I guess my dressing room conversion wasn't completely thorough...but it was a definite step in the right direction. The most encouraging thing about my experience is knowing that what happened was an outward showing of an inward transformation, one that I hope continues to grow and affect positively every aspect of my life.

Thus begins a real journey for me, one that I'm confident will stretch me to the limits of my being, to the ends of the earth, and to the greatest potential of myself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

a finished epic.

Through the fire I have come
Scorched and burned but still I run.
Ash to beauty, strength endure
Blackest souls be now made pure.
Broken bones and shattered dreams
Light aloft through brilliant beams.
Wings abound from haggard frame,
From earth's departure, freedom came.

No life to see, but death resides
Within the realm of finite eyes.
Shackled to the darkest stone
Cold of iron, hollow tone.
Break apart the chains that bind
Release the demons, light to find.
Blood flows out to cancel pain
From earth's departure, freedom came.

Open wide my eyes to see

The lifeline yet in store for me.
Blind me to the flesh's stare
Brave the trial, unaware.
Encompassing the depth of love,
Cast me forth with gentle shove.
Into the World, no qualm or shame
From earth's departure, freedom came.

Longest life but short as breath
Straining ears are now made deaf.
Silence falls upon my soul
Want for ease now takes its toll.
Lay my weary head to rest
Renewing sleep upon thine breast.
Awaken truth, no longer tame
From earth's departure freedom came.

Arise the sun and make me new
Wash away with morning's dew.
Born of this day, alive and well
Delivered from the grip of hell.
Saved from deepest depths of strife
Restored again to perfect life.
Alight my soul, new song it hums
From earth's departure, freedom comes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Next time I quit a job, this is how I will do it.

Thought of the day:

It's amazing what we see when we decide to pull our heads out of our asses! (Unrelated to above hilarity.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A broken hallelujah.

You say I took the name in vain

I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Is it sufficient to bring nothing more to the world than a broken hallelujah?

I cringe to think of it any other way, considering too often all I have to give is something broken, almost unrecognizable because it is so dilapidated and disfigured. I have to believe that God knew what he was doing when he created humans in his image knowing full well we would fall from his grace, his perfection, his holiness...being imperfect people restored by the spilled blood of Christ still renders us imperfect in the every day. Therein we find our do we as broken, hurting, ugly, dark souls, loose the chains that bind and break free to find our purpose, the reason for our humanness? God could have made us holy beings without sin, without darkness in our hearts...but he allows our broken bits to become prevalent so we can recognize our need for a Savior.

If I wasn't lost, I would need no one to lead me.

I find solace in my darkest moments knowing that the Lord can use the imperfections in me to glorify his perfection. Like a shattered mirror refracts unbroken light, may we each find how we cast the light of Jesus into the world around us...a world full of broken people yearning to know they are useful and alive with a purpose.

I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah...