Why, Jesus, should I not love you with my fullest? Not for hope of winning heaven or escaping hell; not for hope that I will gain something or because I seek a reward. I love you because you loved me and for no other reason do I say you are an ever-loving God.
Modern translation of No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte excerpt. (via churchjanitor)


You cannot fill this void. I cannot ask you to. I’ve tried in vain to let you be what you cannot be. What once was seen as struggle has transformed into choice, liberating for one, and for another, heartbreaking. Sitting restlessly somewhere between peace and insanity I cry out to Him “please take this cup from me…” Not out of the friend zone, yet not truly just friends, I end up with labels like “best friend” and “closest to me.” Wanting to be more and less simultaneously, fighting to find footing on the balance beam neither too far left nor too right, writing poems you may never see, trying to air out the emotion overwhelming, and yet it’s not enough. Only time can unwind the ever so crowded thoughts in my mind, trying to follow His will instead of mine as words like “lonely” and “patient” don’t seem to really describe the bipolar waves of feelings crashing over each other inside me. Wanting you to change your mind, to be mine, but at the same time to fail, to break my frail heart, so that I will see how broken I already am, so that I will fully understand the desperation in my situation, so that I will see the need for His grace to surround me, to cover all of my insecurities, all of my inequities, all of my insanity so that I can see His love above my desire for yours.

Only You can fill this void. Yet I cannot ask of You what You’ve already freely given. I try in vain to be good enough, to be something I cannot be. Your lifelong struggle was always Your choice, life-giving for those who turn to You, and for the others, my heart is breaking. Pacing restlessly somewhere between peace and insanity I try to comprehend what it really means that you bore that cup for me… Back and forth between the frying pan and the fire, I try to fix my problems with “I’ll try harder” and “Maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away.” Struggling to be more and less simultaneously, I look to You to find footing on the balance beam neither too close to legalism, nor too far from grace, trying to let Your love be overwhelming because I know that You will always be enough. In time I will unwind the binding thoughts in my mind, freeing myself to follow Your will and abandon mine, letting go of the bipolar waves of “lonely” and “patient” so Your love can fill everything inside me. Forever changing my mind, falling back from Your will to follow mine, and every time failing, watching my frail heart breaking, coming to the end of me, seeing how broken I really am, understanding the desperation in my situation I cry out for Your grace to surround me, covering all the lies of insecurities, inequities, insanity, allowing You to strengthen my love for you above my desire for anything else.


Single. The end. But not really.

This is possibly my last post on this blog. I haven’t thought of anything I feel strongly enough to continue to post about, and I am working on limiting my Internet time anyway. If I really think about why I have all of these social media sites, it’s for selfish reasons. I don’t care about what other people post unless it is funny or benefits me in some way, and what I care about most is if someone likes MY picture or MY status or MY tweet. In reality, it doesn’t matter.
So I finished my year technically on Monday. I wasn’t feeling like I was where I wanted to be in regards to how I felt about being single. I wasn’t suddenly desperate or excited that I could go find a boyfriend. I wasn’t even sad that God hasn’t brought someone into my life in a romantic way. I was just sort of melancholy in general, and that made me a little… Pessimistic? About everything I suppose. I think the weather and my busy schedule had a lot to do with it. I have realized that I have overloaded my schedule a bit again, and am planning on cutting out a commitment that I have one night a week. The hard part for me will be to let that night be my time to do what I need to do to be emotionally healthy. I like to fill up my time with people and commitments, but sometimes I forget that I need a little time for me.
So throughout this year, I have often been asked what I have learned by being single intentionally. That’s a bit of a loaded question :) but I will try to summarize what I feel I have learned the most.
1) It’s not over. My year of being intentionally single did not make me suddenly ready for the perfect relationship. There is no such thing, btw. Disney movies are cartoons. They are not real life. Basically, ignore anything that ends with “happily ever after”. Don’t read too much into that though. Relationships are intended to be happy, but because we are humans and we are broken and often times selfish, relationships will also be hard. You have to find someone you are willing to work through the tough stuff with. This past year has given me a more realistic view of what a relationship should be.
2) I have to let God be God. This is still something that I struggle with and will continue to struggle with. I have a bad habit of putting too much energy into a guy and not allowing God to be my everything. I can’t allow a guy, whether friend or more than friend, to be responsible for my happiness, my stability, my comfort. Sure, he can provide me those things, but I have a tendency to look to him for that, instead of to God. For example, my first thought when a panic attack starts is often “I should call this person” and not “I need to pray”.
3) Singleness is a gift. What a stereotypical Christianese phrase, right? Well, yes, but I have come to understand its truth. There are so many things I can do because I am single, and so many blessings about this time that I will not have being in a relationship. The biggest blessing for me is time. I am at a point in my life where I can go anywhere and do what I feel God leading me to do without having to think about anyone else too much. I don’t have to include anyone in my future plans right now. There is a certain amount of freedom in having time to myself in a way. I get to decide what to do with MY time, instead of having to come to an agreement about what to do with “our” time. I will want to include someone else in all of my time and future plans later on, but until then, I will enjoy my time.
4) Peace with being the weaker sex. Just kidding. Mostly. I do have a peace about where I believe my role should be in a relationship, and where I want it to be. I was always the one to lead the relationship, and I don’t want to do that anymore. Now, that doesn’t mean I want to find a guy to boss me around or anything. If you know me well enough, you know that won’t happen. It is Biblical for the man to lead the relationship, and that was something I had a hard time with understanding for a while. It makes a bit more sense to me now, although I’m no expert in the matter. I still see a relationship as a 50-50 thing. I’m great with words today…. Whatever… I can’t think of a coherent way to write this out. If you have questions, please don’t assume what I’m thinking, just ask me :)
5) Another question people are asking now that the year is over is “do you like anyone?”
Wouldn’t you like to know ;)


Well, that’s it I guess. Part of me feels weird not keeping this up anymore, but unless I can say it isn’t for a self-serving reaction from others, I won’t start another blog. I am considering doing one about Portland. Maybe a vlog. Don’t get your hopes up, M ;)


Single, weeks fifty one, fifty two, and fifty three. Holy Cow

Is it surprising that I haven’t gotten the hang of the update-your-blog-weekly thing? I hope not. 

Week fifty one

So I have only about a page and a half from three weeks ago in my journal. It about anxiety and blahblahblah. I was wondering if I should go to Spain this summer, or if I should pull myself from the team because of my anxiety. I am trying to remember three weeks ago, but if I don’t write it down then it’s all but lost.  Looking through my calendar to try to remember what was happening that week makes me realize maybe the business had barely started that week, considering I hadn’t wanted top remind myself to do things.  

Week fifty two

This week there’s more in my journal. A whole page more. However, most of what is written was dedicated to a dream that I’d had, so I actually have less that I will be writing about.  I guess I am not writing about any of it actually…

Somewhere within these two weeks a friend and I finished season five (season one for me…I am not going to try to catch up with all of it) of Dr. Who :) i like it, although I am still not a huge television fan. 

Week fifty three

There has been a lot going on this past week (and in the two weeks before, i just don’t remember enough detail to discuss it).  I have been spreading myself thin, which is something I have done multiple times before.  I want to do a lot of things, and they are good things, but I end up doing too many good things and not leaving time for (or making time for) being with Jesus, which in turn leaves me with the wrong heart/motivations for doing the good things I want to do. Following my run on sentences? Great! So this past week has been a little bit of a struggle for me. I was really tired due to allergies and monthly (or whatever it is with my internal clock) stuff. I was exhausted all the time, not matter how much I slept, which became pretty frustrating after a couple of days.  I didn’t have the energy or motivation to do anything, but I still had to do stuff.  

Another thing that was pretty frustrating was my emotional stuff.  I just felt really sensitive for a few days, and because of my normal emotional level, a few days of high sensitivity can feel like an eternity. I get frustrated because I feel like if I don’t want to be around myself, then other people aren’t going to want to be around me.  But that always passes, and I am doing good now. 

I have spring break next week, then one month until I am done with school. I am ready for it to be over. I am ready to do something else, to be stretched and grown in different ways by God, to move on.  It is interesting how God moves us into different places physically, but prepares us emotionally as well. I am not worried about transitioning into “real-adult-life.”  I know God knows what He is doing.  

I am not feeling very open tonight.  I think I just need a break.  I have been filling all my time with things to do, and haven’t been making time to be still.  Hopefully next week I will have more to say. It will be my last “single” blog entry.  I haven’t decided if I should continue writing or not.  I know a few people who read this silly thing, and I think that’s pretty cool. I always feel special when my friends tell me they read this, but I don’t know what I would write about.  Should I start a “year of” something else?  Should I just update you with my life in general? It almost feels weird to not write in here now…. maybe I should start a video blog. A vlog. No one would watch that. No one should watch that…. 

Who knows… maybe I will add it to the list of things I will be praying about more intentionally over the next few weeks and months.  If you have an opinion, I value it. Let me know what you think :) 

 



Single, weeks forty nine and fifty. Joy.

I didnt update last week because I was still dealing with some of the anxiety junk. I don’t have much to write about from two weeks ago, but I know I am having more quiet time. I have been reminded time and time again over the last couple of weeks that I can’t be there for people if I don’t let God be there for me first. The thing is, I have to initiate that conversation. God isn’t going to call my cell phone. He’s not going to show up at my front door with his suitcase & set up some sort of “emotional workshop” in my living room, (as much as I’d like Him to). I have to work on a discipline of spending time with Him. Two weeks ago, I was less anxious. The past few days, spending time with God has brought joy. I feel like myself again. I feel alive. I know some people who read this might think, “great, if that’s what works for you.” To that I’d say try it ;) to really give your life over to God brings pain, sure. But if you really think about it, that pain is already there. It’s just buried under all the “I’m ok”s and the “just don’t think about it”s . Allowing God to get to the pain to heal it is going to hurt, but the joy and peace that can only come from Him healing that pain is worth anything. I feel a bit redundant talking about this ;) do you get the point yet?
Anywhooo
Quiet time has actually been kinda…. I don’t know. Weird I guess. I haven’t wanted to read. I haven’t written too much. It’s been mostly music and just learning to sit with God, which is pretty cool. I just feel like I’ve read enough books. I just want to spend time with the Jesus I have grown to actually love. (If that statement makes no sense, think about how much you actually LOVE Jesus. How much does that love actually shape what you do?) I am not saying I am super great at following Jesus the way we are called to (I actually really suck at it, but God’s pretty cool & He uses sucky for His glory). I am learning to let go of trying, though. I am letting go of doing things on my own. Phrases like “I’m going to be better about…” Or “I need to be doing more of….” Get rid of those! Replace them with trusting in God’s sovereignty, praying when you are upset that He would reveal the real reasons you are upset, and trusting in Him to change you from the inside out.
John 15:5 “I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart form me you can do nothing.”
Apart from Christ, you will not be successful. Because of Christ, and following His will, we are capable of more than is imaginable. I have seen it, read it, heard it, and lived it. If you haven’t ever had a conversation with God, try it, even if you are yelling (He can take it). BUT, if you do, try to listen. It may take a little while, but God is a living, life changing God. Turn to Him and He won’t let you go. He loves you more than you could ever know.

That may have sounded kinda preachy, but I’m going to leave it. The whole time I have been writing this update I have been thinking about the people I’ve never met who follow me because of previous posts. I don’t know who all reads this, or who all ever will, but I feel like people need to hear how much God loves them. Maybe one person in particular…. Who knows! So, sorry if it sounds preachy, but it’s on my heart to leave it there this time.

Sme super awesome songs I’ve heard this week:
The more I seek you (Kari Job)
I saw the light (David Crowder) *if you want a song full of joy, check this one out. It’s great
Soooo many other ones courtesy of my new friend….none of which I can remember right now…

Send me random things! I’d love to heard from all you fellow tumblr(er?)s and not-so-tumblry ones :)


Single, weeks forty seven and forty eight. Anxiety.

I am finding this blog more and more pointless. When I started it, I suppose it was mostly a way of keeping myself accountable? I’m not really sure why I started writing this. It seemed significant at the time. Maybe I just wanted it to be, like if people read it, then I’d feel important.  Maybe it still is significant and I just don’t feel like it is. Maybe I feel like I am now being too transparent…but I don’t really know how to live any other way, nor do I want to. If I am not open, I keep things bottled up and begin to believe the lies….No one cares. No one wants to hear what I am struggling with. But I know the truth. I know there is freedom in honesty and transparency. This update may make little to no sense. My head has been kinda jumbled up lately. Maybe this should be less chronological, and just more…. Whatever.

Last update (or recently-ish at some point) I’d mentioned a guy I was having feelings for again.  I talked with a few friends about it and God spoke through those conversations.  He told me again what He originally had said about this person- wait on My timing.  With the way I feel about him now, I’m not sure anything will happen, and I am alright with that.  Whatever happens, whoever I may or may not end up with, I will do my best to turn to God first.

I have not been reading, praying, talking to God, or having any kind of quiet time regularly for a long time. I can’t seem to get into a decent habit of it. I get to a point where I avoid it because I know it could bring up pain I’ve tried to burry (which, semi-ironically, stems from not spending any time with God in the first place).  My anxiety has been higher lately, my ability to love others lower, and my logic response to things has many times been over-taken by my emotions.  I’ve come to a place in life where I understand most of my emotions, but I can’t necessarily control them. I know that my irritability and high stress lately is because of how little time I have spent with Christ. And I know because it changes when I spend even just an hour in prayer and praise.  

WARNING: girly topic ahead. Boys, if you want to skip to the “END WARNING” section, feel free.

My…”emotional” time of the month usually makes it more difficult for me to respond logically to most situations (duh, stupid girl, right? There is a point to this, I promise). So, the last week has been kinda sucky because of the anxiety coupled with the already-wanting-to-cry-out-of-seemingly-nowhere crap.  I have amazing friends and I could never say how thankful I am for their willingness to listen to what seems like the same story every month (well, three weeks at this point).  I was telling a couple of friends of mine that I was considering going back on the pill (I was on it before, just to regulate the hormones).  They assured me they didn’t want me to go on it for their sakes, and I am thankful for that as well.  I hate the pill. I hate not caring about anything. I hate wanting to throw up all the time. My body didn’t respond well to it in some respects.  I was less emotional for a while on it, but it almost wasn’t worth feeling the way I did. I didn’t feel like me.  I am choosing to remain off of it for the time being, unless I hear otherwise from God.  I know He can take it away, but I also know that sometimes He allows a certain amount of pain to stay so that we learn to rely on Him.  Please pray that I stop trying to figure out what His plan is, and that I learn how to truly put my faith in Him with this. 

END WARNING

I went to a prayer time at church Sunday night for my anxiety.  I won’t go into detail about what all was prayed for, but I can say it was an amazing time. God revealed some things to continue to pray over that may help with the anxiety, and I experienced His joy yet again. I wish I could just hand that joy to so many people, but I know it can only come from Him, and I pray that I can point enough to Him that at least one other person will feel that kind of joy and the peace that tends to come with it.

For anyone who is reading this and thinking “OMG I have to call her, she’s not ok, she’s freaking out” PUT THE PHONE DOWN. I am ok. I am better than ok. I know it may not sound like it at the moment, but read the blog entry again.  God knows what He is doing, don’t forget to read that part. He has told me more than once, and through more than one person praying that He will NOT let me fall off the edge of the cliff, He will NOT let me go crazy. He has me in His hands and He will not let me go. He is with me through every panic attack, every lie that starts to sink in, every time I just feel sad. And I have people who remind me of that constantly.  Please do not worry that I won’t be ok.  Trust in God’s promises.  Trust that I am trusting in His promises and that I know that He will use this for His glory and His plans. 

Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This song came on my Pandora as I was typing the last few parts of thias update and I felt it was fitting.   What Love is This by Kari Job

http://youtu.be/tv3E7DhitRU  «play this

You never change, You are the God You say You are 
When I’m afraid You calm and still my beating heart 
You stay the same, when hope is just a distant thought 
You take my pain 
And You lead me to the cross 

What love is this, that You gave Your life for me 
And made a way for me to know You 
And I confess You’re always enough for me 
You’re all I need 

I look to You 
I see the scars upon Your hands 
And hold the truth 
That when I can’t You always can 
I’m standing here beneath the shadow of the cross, I’m overwhelmed that I
Keep finding open arms 

What love is this that You gave Your life for me and made a way for me to 
Know You 
And I confess, You’re always enough for me 
You’re all I need 

Jesus in Your suffering, You were reaching; You thought of me 
Jesus in Your suffering, You were reaching; You thought of me 

What love is this, that You gave Your life for me 
And made a way for me to know You 
And I confess, You’re always enough for me 
You’re all I need 

What love is this, that You gave Your life for me 
And made a way for me to know You 
And I confess, You’re always enough for me 
Always enough for me 
Always enough for me


Single, weeks forty five and forty six. Life and change.

Week forty five
I felt really convicted this week about the way I spend my time. I don’t remember what exactly caused it. I think it was a combination of the book I am still reading (Crazy Love by Franis Chan) and the lives of some of my friends. Jesus did not come to this earth to give us comfortable lives in nice two story houses with the pool, the dog, and the luxury of “enough money to be comfortable,” a concept I believe is wildly distorted in American culture. I don’t think enough people understand that toilet paper is a luxury, let alone the Starbucks we always drink, the beauty products we buy (because the media is constantly telling us we need them), the cars we drive, the education we get, the food we throw away…. I could make this whole update a list of luxury items we take for granted, but I have other things to say, so I won’t. The point is, I feel convicted in the way I have been living my life. I have too much, when so many people have nothing. I sit in my apartment updating my blog on my iPad, giant mug of hot tea next to me, and enough income to keep the thermostat to the temperature I want it at, while so many people sit in dirt, freezing, unfed and barely clothed. And in the same city! How can I truly be a follower of Christ if I do not follow His example? I am tired of sitting around. I am tired of just talking about it. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world,” James 1:27. “Learn to do right; seek justice; defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow,” Isaiah 1:17. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”Matthew 23:22-24.
And these are only a few. Jesus makes it pretty clear that justice and mercy and serving are highly important. So why do we focus so much on only what John 3:16 preaches? I am not saying that verse is wrong, or should be overlooked in any way, please don’t misread these words. But I do believe there is too much emphasis on “a relationship with Christ is not about works.” A true statement can easily promote false thinking if it is not taught in full context. Christ is not concerned with your earning your way into heaven. If you have ever tried it, then you have probably had (or still have) that empty feeling, like nothing you do could ever be good enough. That’s because nothing you could ever do will be “good enough.” Jesus wants you to turn to Him, but the more I learn about Jesus and the more I live this life, the more I believe that truly following Christ means action. It is easy to know what to do & not to do it. Doing what Jesus calls us to is a hard choice, but I know if Jesus is the one calling me to it, it is a choice worth my life.
Please pray for me in this decision. I don’t know who all reads this crazy thought process of mine, or how much you know/believe about spiritual warfare, but I can tell you from experience that Satan does not want advancement in Jesus’ Kingdom. What that means for me in this situation is stuff like getting sick and having to skip opportunities to serve, or being more emotional than normal. Anything that would keep me from carrying out what I want to do to serve more and act more on my convictions. Please pray that I would be well Sunday mornings so that I can participate in a breakfast outreach my church does around town. Please pray for the group that seems to be forming to look into living like the book of Acts. Please pray for our safety and well being as we consider what it looks like for our lives to follow Jesus the way the disciples did after Jesus left earth.

Well that was more than I was thinking I would be sharing… Anywho, on to week forty six.
This week was challenging in old and familiar ways…which can really be more frustrating than new challenges. I hold grudges. Not terrible ones, not with everyone, not all the time, but I do. I can be quite unforgiving if I have been burned enough by a person. I am wrestling still with what it means to forgive and let go of something when I can’t really let go of the person. Some people who have hurt me, who I struggle with really forgiving, will not be gone from my life. It is easier to forgive people I don’t have to maintain relationships with. I think it is a good place to be, struggling with this, but it is beyond frustrating for this to still be a problem for me, not to mention embarrassing when it comes up. I want to forgive, and unforgiveness can hurt others as well as myself. I think more than anything I become afraid of getting hurt again, so I keep walls up. The bad thing is, those walls manifest in unforgiving tendencies and unhealthy defense mechanisms. I wage war against those who have hurt me because I don’t want them to hurt me again. I hide behind my walls of unforgiveness and throw insulting defense mechanisms at people before they can throw anything at me (which is sometimes just truth I don’t want to hear from those people). Please pray that admitting this will help me actually forgive people in my heart this time.

Also this week, I have been dealing with feelings for someone I thought I no longer had feelings for. I really wanted to make sure I have feelings for him for the right reasons, and that I am as intentional about things as I can be so no one gets hurt if they don’t have to be. This led me to start to unfold what has been in the back of my mind for a while. I knew that I still have unrealistic expectations for a relationship, but I did not know how to go about addressing and fixing it. I decided to make a list of all the things I expect and try to understand which are healthy expectations and which are selfish ones. After talking with a few close friends about it, the biggest things that I need to work on (however that looks) are starting over and knowing that being committed to someone is not better than being single, just different.
The first bothers me the most. The last committed relationship I was in got pretty serious fairly quickly, and for about two years marriage seemed like the only possible future. I don’t want to go into a relationship with someone with the mindset that we have to be married. I don’t want to date around, either though. There is a balance I have not yet found between being serious about WHO I am dating and being serious about the relationship. I want to follow God’s leading in all of this, but I can’t tell you it’s easy. I want to make sure I date someone who lives up to a certain standard without piling on unrealistic or selfish expectations. I am just not sure I know how to start over in the whole “getting to know a guy” thing. I don’t want to freak him out by being too serious, but I do take dating more seriously than I used to. I keep remembering this week that God wants us to wrestle with this stuff, to try to get it right, to put effort into doing things the way He wants us to.
The second bothers me still, but not as much anymore. I do enjoy being single, and some of the aspects of this life. The same can be said of being spoken for, though. I didn’t always enjoy being in a relationship. It is difficult to try to mesh your life with someone else’s, not matter how much you like the guy (or girl). Most probably, you were brought up a little differently, you have different ideas about life or the way some things should be done, you don’t always like everything about each other. There are good things about both times of life God has you in. Being single you have a lot more freedom, but it can feel lonely sometimes. Being in a relationship isn’t always as lonely, but I can tell you from experience the loneliness doesn’t just go away, and sometimes you can even feel smothered by the amount of time spent with the other person. Sometimes I still buy into the Disney “happily ever after” crap. I want it to be easy. I want to be in a place where all my troubles are gone and I am never sad again, but Jesus doesn’t promise us that in this life. And think about it, if you put that kind of expectation in a person, they are probably going to try to runaway eventually…wouldn’t you? Simply thinking and talking about reality in this case is helpful to changing my expectations. It’s that other one up there that’s going to take a whole lot of effort and prayer and awkwardness….

So, one person has responded to me, like, ever… Share your stories with me! Whatever you want. If you write short stories, or if you have prayer requests, or if you think I’m a big dummy and want to tell me, or you have something you want to talk about…. I’d love to hear from you! :)


Single. Week forty-four. Yup.

This post is going to be boring. Seriously, you don’t need to read it 

Highlights of my boring week:

1. I got to see a friend at work that I haven’t worked with in a while

2. Settling into a normal friendship with the friend I over-reacted with and almost cut out of my life completely. *I will name him Ellen, for future reference

3. Hanging out with my firends

4. texting my friends boyfriend the name song (ishy, ishy, bo bishy, banananana fo fishy, me mi mo mishy….ishy!…sept I used his name) & he sent me back this: *i will use ishy, he used my actual name* “My name is ishy, my room’s always messy, I got a personality you can’t get, see? Try to mess and things’ll go crazy, I’ll punch till you go hazy and I’ll still be being lazy thinkin bout nail polish and daisies” 

5. I’m sure there were other things, it’s just been a slow week & that ^ was literally half of what I had in my journal this week

6. Saw Adam Bishop at school before school even started. He’s “kind of a celebrity.”

Things that would have made my week more interesting

1. Giving birth

2. Inventing something super awesome (or even mundane)

3. Winning Jeopardy 

4. Coming upon six miniature circus animals riding miniature bicycles 

5. Winning World’s Best Dad

6. Becoming part of an underground society where Bill Cosby is the President and I find out I am his daughter. 

Things that made today more interesting:

This picture of my friends and I