Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Won Me Over

Sometimes... well, more often than not really... I connect with songs - and I know I'm not the only one. If you're like me, our response is primal - it seems stitched and sewn into each pore. It resounds in our hearts like the echoing sounds of a gong - sailing soundlessly across space and fading, yet always leaving a memory behind. For me - and for some of you I'm sure - it's not just the melody that surrounds us, but also the words that melt their way into the mold of the music. The brilliance of the lyricist brings the magic of the composer to life - and a perfect and inspirational piece of art is formed.

I tend to understand and process things through music. Music is my memories. Music is my very present help. Music is validation that I'm headed in the right direction or way off the path. Music, my friends, is due north on my compass.

As I face trials, and we ALL do, I use music as an escape. I allow my mind reprieve by focusing only on the words and often times tuning out the words and letting the melody become a part of the moment. On this particular day, in this particular moment, Franklin (my iPod touch) decided to put on a song that was full of joy even though, in this particular moment, my heart was not. But since I was too lazy to switch the song, I decided to focus on the lyrics. Lyrics I've listened to a thousand times...yet they proved to be lyrics I've never HEARD. They went a little something like this:

"Was on the run, a road that I ruined,
chasing a lie I thought I believed in
Don't know why I do what I do"
~Audrey Assad, Won Me Over

OHHH friends... to be cliche, it hit me like a ton of bricks! But instead of making this specifically about me, I think we can all relate.

How many times have you been on a path - one that you stay on because it's easier than turning back and facing what you left. One that you stay on because the road is too crumbly and destructed to be able to weather the journey back - and besides? who wants to return to what you were running from? It's easier to run - although its WAY more self destructive to run. Does it ever solve anything? Not permanently...Is it worth it? Well, you believe that at first, but eventually you see the light. It's easy to do what feels 'normal,' but much harder to do what feels right.

How many times do we make decisions based on feelings alone? And when we do, and we realize that it was the wrong one or there was a  better or more fulfilling one - how does that make us feel. How does it feel when something you USED to believe in suddenly becomes foreign to you and feels more and more wrong and uncomfortable every day?

 Friends, I don't have the answer for all of you - but I can tell you that my answer for myself is you change it. You walk arm in arm with God and as you hold the lamp at your feet, you trust Him to guide every single step. You lean on the Word and press in to prayer. You look back at the crumbly road and see it for what it is - decaying, old, deteriorated, defeated - and you accept the fact that roads built on chasing lies are not meant to withstand the elements. You simply look ahead or side to side and find the next road - the next path that God wants for you. He will reveal the way to go - but only if you trust Him one step at a time.

I choose trust. I choose faith. I choose hope. . . and Jesus? I choose You. I choose Your Word above mine, Your will above mine, Your leading above mine, Your steps in front of mine, Your power above my self, Your promises above my weak heart, and Your faithfulness above my inability to understand. I encourage you all to do the same.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've Been Thinking...

Hey blog friends!!

It's been a while - I know. My fingers have been itching to graze the keys on my laptop in order to write to you for a while now, but life as I  know it has escaped me as of late. It seems the more crowded my mind is, the faster time goes ... or is it the faster time goes, the more crowded my mind is? I don't know - nor will I ever - so I'll let it go.

I know you're waiting for it - my famous last words - "I've been thinking..." <--- so there you have it. I've been thinking, a LOT lately... I know, I know - you're thinking that I say that ALL the time - and you'd be correct. When I think and have coherent, sticky thoughts, I feel the need to blog - hence the reason you always hear me 'say' "Ive been thinking..." So here I am - with thoughts - and in no particular order of importance, here they are:

I love when you meet people and you're accidental friends. By this I mean there is something in you that roots in them and grows in an unlikely place. I have a friend like this - and I marvel at the thought that she would even call me friend. Now you ALL know I don't struggle with self-worth, but even I tend to second guess mySELF at times - yet she, in her beauty and open heart, never second guesses ME or our friendship. In fact, it seems she embraces it and welcomes it and accepts it. She acknowledges that it has grown in an unlikely place - and yet she continues to visit this garden we've seeded, watered, and watched bloom. The simplicity of it amazes me, the complexity of it is beautiful to me, the unspoken and spoken words that fertilize the soil continue to produce beautiful blossoms despite the alternating frigidity and warmth in the air. Every time I leave her, I shake  my head and pinch my arm and feel grateful that she'll walk arm and arm with me despite the random prickers and thorns.

In my heart, I've made a decision. Well, my whole adult-life I've been contemplating an idea. One that I never thought possible despite people urging and pleading with me to pursue it. One that I wasn't sure I was talented enough to pull off. But my AMAZING Pastor preached a sermon that pre-heated the oven that is my heart and this idea baked - and baked to perfection. Now there is much, much more to the story than that, but what you need to know is that there is NO other time in my life that I've been so sure of what I need to do. None. No other. So many things point to this - too many to blog about :) But just know that I am being "strong and courageous. I am not being discouraged...because I know that the Lord MY God is with me wherever I go." I also know that He is in whatever I do with this because my intention is to glorify His holy and righteous name.

Let's see....It's been a month - surely I've got more to tell you??

Oh - well, this may be a little cryptic as I have to be cautious because this IS a public place...but let's see how well I can do. I've learned a very valuable lesson about myself recently. If you know me in 'real life,' you know that I am a passionate person. If I believe in it, I BELIEVE in it. If I'm fired up by it, I am FIRED UP by it. It's part of my makeup. I suppose at one point, I didn't really understand it and I saw it as a burden - I saw it as a reason why so many people didn't understand ME. As I've reached *ahem* old age maturity in my 30's, I realize that this is actually a gift! It's taken me about a year to truly and wholly accept and acknowledge a few things about myself - and for real? It's made me LIKE myself even more!!! If you faithfully read my blog, I've written a little about this before - about being unapologetically me (read it here), but this is a little more than that.

I believe that God gives us gifts and abilities ( topic I'm PUMPED FOR LIFE about, but I'll save it for another time). I believe with my ENTIRE being, that one of the gifts He's given me is the gift of passion. I actually don't understand people who don't have passion. I don't understand how some people don't feel like their heart will explode, or maybe that they truly prefer to sit middle-of-the-road...but God shapes us all as He will. Well, for a minute there, I was thinking that my passion was a burden, not a gift. I know that it can be misunderstood - I know it can come across VERY strong...but I also know that people with passion have an ace in their back pocket. They can push and excel and get results. They can take risks and dare to dream simply because their passion drives them forward. How do I know this? Well, because I've accepted this part of me - embraced it, really. I refuse to be weighed down by it even when people want me to stuff it down. I refuse to be anyone except who I am - and if that means taking chances and putting myself out there- then so be it. God gifted me this for a purpose - and I will not waste it. Absolutely not.

I've got so much more to say - TONS more, really, but I'll leave you instead with this encouragement:

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:6