thoughts from my bathroom mirror. pt 1.

This morning I had a moment in front of the mirror. Mid-bobby pin, I was thinking of all the sweetness of love and encouragement my friends and family have given me lately.

Kenzy texted me this morning to say how excited she is with the Saturday forecast. Randyl texted me to ask if I need a coffee or moment of normal. Maria asked me how she can pray for me. Rose came over to my house early in the morning to alter my dress. Emily and Joann let me crash on their couch numerous times before I can move in with Isaac. My bridesmaids are all getting work shifts off, driving hours to get here, and giving all their time this weekend to help however they can.

I COULD GO ON. This is the Emmy acceptance speech I’ll never get to give; let me have this.

After running down this list of sweetness this morning, I opened up Oswald Chamber’s Utmost devotion today. “Pouring out the water of satisfaction.” And it was perfect.

“So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord.”-2 Samuel 23:16

In 2 Samuel, David is at the cave of Adullam and is thirsty. Like really thirsty. The water brought back to him would have been so physically refreshing to him, but he knew the risk his men had taken to get it. He had just received this physical blessing of water, along with the blessing of men who put aside their own safety/comfort for his. As the water represented their sacrifice, he poured it out to God. It was too great for him to keep. We’re often given the gift of “friendship, love, or other spiritual blessings.” (Chambers) We are given so much by our Father. He is generous, extravagant, and rich in love. But it is not just for our own benefit but for His glory.

“As soon as I realize that something is too wonderful for me, that I am not worthy to receive it, and that it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out ‘to the Lord.’” –Chambers.

This love and encouragement from my friends during “wedding week” and so many other weeks is one of these gifts. Too wonderful for me, something beyond what I’m worthy of, something resulting from Christ’s work in my friends. His love, grace, humility, and truth radiate from many people around me and reveal more of His glory to me. And that’s His work; so this is His gift.

“If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you hoarded it. Yet if you had poured it out to Him, you would have been the sweetest person on earth. If you are always keeping blessings to yourself and never learning to pour out anything “to the Lord,” other people will never have their vision of God expanded through you.” –Chambers.

 

summer in bullet points.

Man, it has been a while. I want to kickstart this thang back in motion before this Fall. Hopefully I’ll be better at updating then. No promises though, okay? I mean, hey, you never made that cheesecake you promised me.

I wasn’t sure what to say tonight to wedge myself back into the blogosphere. I opened up my “blog4evr” word doc on my desktop to see if anything jogged my memory. I keep future ideas/random daily thoughts/questions I need want answered sometime in this file. Unfortunately, I think I’ve taken too long of a hiatus. My ideas seem weird and unfamiliar to me. Some include “how sarah mclaughlin is ruining my life” “sexy muskrat with rabies for halloween costume” and “how dawson’s creek gang is doing it wrong.” Not sure what “it” is, but I’m sure I was on to something with that one. Those idiots do everything wrong. (I’m talking to YOU, skanky 17-year-old Michelle Williams.)

Anyway, my mind is a strange place, and these half-baked ideas prove it. So scratch that. Let my tell you about my summer in 5 bullet points. Then we’ll be all caught up and we can start afresh. Doesn’t afresh just sound right? It sounds like something I should say when I’m sitting in a field of sunflowers drinking sweet tea. Okay, here we go then.

  1. I’ve been back home this summer. Interning at a bridal shop. I have learned more than a thing or two and am thankful for an internship opportunity that has allowed me to make some $$ while being near family and this one cute guy that keeps txting me. I have also become very aware that weddings stress women out. Sometimes it’s funny: like when moms yell about mismatched pink hues, because it RUINS THEIR WHOLE LIVES. Sometimes it’s sad: like when I realize the majority of brides out there care much more about their wedding than their marriage. Off soapbox. On to number two.
  2. I get to attend Veritas now. We have church in a bar and I love it. There’s extra strong coffee, which is another plus. I think people feel like you can’t serve weak coffee in a biker bar. Someone will rev their bike, call you a wuss, and dare you a race to prove you’re a man. These people are right! Not too much else to elaborate on here. It’s just plain good. I’m learning new things all the time. We have been studying Genesis this summer, and it’s interesting to learn new things through old and familiar stories.
  3. I’ve been trying to be healthy (-er) this summer. Shaun T has yelled at me a lot the past few months, and I can like totally do a push-up and stuff. Don’t spread that around though-I still want people to find me approachable. Also, Isaac and I just stole a friend’s idea and completed a week-long detox routine. Fruits, veggies, 1 cup brown rice/day, and water. My workouts felt much better, and I found myself getting up out of bed much easier in the mornings. I don’t crave caffeine or junk food so much either. This is a big step for a girl who is sometime referred to as one of the “pizza girls.” (Self-explanatory inside joke.)
  4. I am jetting to Florence, Italy, in just a few short weeks. After a week in Dublin, that is. But only because my life is very hard. I have been craaaaazy overwhelmed to see how the Lord’s decided to bless me through this upcoming experience. I remember being all signed up to go last fall (2012).  Only to change my mind at Easter of that year. This decision was made at literally the last minute before I would have purchased plane tickets, finished housing things, etcetc. I can’t explain why I said “no not now” other than the Holy Spirit told me to. Sounds weird, but guys I don’t lie. By that I mean I’m not lying now.  A few days later I started talking to that cute guy I mentioned earlier. A month later I met amazing girls-now-good-friends that I got to live with and I began many relationships in Ames that summer. Two months later, the opportunity for Salt leadership opened up, even though I hadn’t applied. And that changed my college life so much. Six months later, I met three amazing girls all wanting to go to Italy but not wanting to go without community. Now we are all going together, and I couldn’t be more excited/thankful. His dreams are better than mine. All that to say, I can’t wait to see what the next semester holds! Let’s start setting up skype dates, people.
  5. I have a few projects up my sleeve and sometime wish there were a few more hours in a day. Let’s stay friends and see where these ideas end up, because it’ll probably be fun. I want to hear about what you’re dreaming up too, because I bet it’s great. If it’s not, I’ll just say “hmm. THAT’S  an interesting idea!” and take an extra long sip of my lemonade. And that’s how you’ll know. Anyway, whoever you are, I probably miss you. I’m missing lots of my friends lately. So thanks for stopping by and saying hi in a you-cant-hear-me-or-see-me-but-im-here kind of way. I got it.

 

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Sistahh, Sistahhh

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Let’s all take a moment to communally wonder how this week is so long. And how there is so much to do. And then jump around on whatever table is closest to us because the weekend is so close!!

Tonight I’m SO excited to announce the coming of Hannah Marie. She will be here in just two days! It’s like a birth announcement. But less nasty and with far less responsibility. The Varn sistas will be tearin up the town in less than 48 hours. Aaaallll ten miles of it, mmhmm.

P.S. Isn’t she a babe?

Yeah, I know.

 

Friday’s Thoughts.

 

Some people have a defining moment where they realize they don’t like how they live their lives or the way they think about things, and they change it. Sometimes God uses a relationship (or a lack of relationship), an experience, or some other “moment” to grab hold of someone’s heart and it’s really cool. I seem to process things slower. Christ is revealed to me steps at a time, slow sips of freedom and understanding and grace. Maybe it’s an experience or choice I make, or maybe it’s another person in my life, but I see characteristics of Christ and glimpses of the eternal value of things, and I just…get it more.

I’ve gained some really awesome relationships this year and I have people in my life that ask me hard questions and really pour into my life more than I ever have before. It’s helped me process all that’s been going on in my life these past few years, but writing has also evolved into a sweet outlet of mine. I seem to be able to sift about my thoughts and emotions through a pen or keyboard best, leaving out the clumps of mistaken coincidence or irony and globs of ignorance.

SO I am in the midst of beginning to tell “my story.” Basically recalling stories that have showed me parts of Christ’s nature, and consequently changed how I think about things, how I act, how I view faith and God. A less eloquent stab at a personal Blue Like Jazz or Traveling Mercies in some ways. I know how much reading those books refreshed my soul, so I think this may be the best way to rest in what He’s done for me for a while. I just want something tangible so I can look back and say “Oh yeah, life’s crazy. And Jesus is good.” I hope to share a few of the stories, because it can often spark conversations I wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. My brief and somewhat vague story in “God and Drugs” opened up some talks that were really awesome and let me hear what God’s done in my friends’ lives. And that’s the whole point anyway, isn’t it?

 

pictures found here.