Highlights

A menagerie of memories from the 365 days that we labeled, “2012:”

Teaching kids to read.

“God created us because He wanted to love us.”

Finishing the Radical Experiement!

Seeing my favorite band (Page CXVI) in concert.

Highschool graduation!

MEXICO!

“I wonder what homeless people talk about….”

“He does not try to pass the time but sits down and lives.”-Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen

“And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”-Dumbledore

Anything this side of Hell is pure grace.

“It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”-Lamentations 3:27

“We could get into trouble,” Isabel.  “That’s how you know it’s an adventure!” Hugo (Hugo, the movie.)

“Quiet your mind, hear what the land has to say,”-Zac Brown

Don’t cry “peace” in the good times only to yell for war when something doesn’t suit you.

It’s not that I am crying,  it’s just that hot tears are falling from my eyes because it hurts so bad.

“…an aesthetic voyager struggling to destroy the beast within,” Chris MccCandless.

NOMADS.

“The compassion we feel when we see the bad things going on in the world is not humanism, it is God’s spirit,” Jamie Zumwalt.

A glowing jellyfish-larva fight on the beach late in the evening.

Bloodshed follows bloodshed.

We cannot take back the way we treat others.

“You are waiting. I am smoking.”-Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows.

I feel the sun. It soaks into my bones. My toes curl with gravel between them. The thoughts in my head are as transparent as the cloudless sky. Wind whips hair sharply around my face. Literal truth: I am on the floor in my bedroom. Soul truth: I am on a great red peak in the midst of a canyon wonderland. Ah, imagination power.

We cannot apply the distraction of politics to our faith.

Watching old friends struggle through ancient issues, and holding them while they cry.

“Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other too…”-George Atkins, “Brethren We Have Met to Worship.”

“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”-J.D. Salinger

“You’ve got such an old soul to you.”

My prayer is for the people who have decided that death is preferable to life.

“The Christian, when he dies, catches hold of Christ’s garment, and Christ bears him into Heaven,” Charles Spurgeon.

“Sad parting promises fresh adventure.”

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller.

“No Heaven will be so sweet as a Heaven preceded by torments and pains,” Charles Spurgeon.

“All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbours was, that if scrubbed with lye soap, in very hot water, his skin was white,” To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

She who loves life can do anything.

I care about you more than I coud ever care about me.

“…that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” 2 Kings 19:19b

“They don’t recognize you asl the adult that you are, but you probably just need to submit right now,” KimT.

“This too shall pass,” the Sadler.

The nearly-tangible blanket of peace that God wrapped around me as I left the children whom I loved with my entire heart to the care of their Jamaican school-teachers and caretakers.

Buying my truck.

“And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh,” John 6:51b

That’s my life; my year. Thanks for reading all the way down! I am being shaped for something big. Odds are you too are being shaped!

spoopsandyoyo@gmail.com

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This Continual Conversation

And I entreat Him again using countless cliche complaints:

When will the pain float on?

Will there be another day without the groaning, aching, and ripping plaguing my every posture?

Please take it away; will you not take this cup from me soon?

You have promised to end the hurting; when will that day come?

He answers with characteristic immutability:

I won’t say when, but the day will come. I promise. It is the same day that I have promised to the young mothers in Uganda, Brazil, Brooklyn. You’ll share that day with the sufferers in Syria. That is the day when prisoners will be released and returned to their families. That’s the day when the needs of children with bellies bloated from hunger will finally be met. The kids who sniff glue, the men who worked day and night just to watch their first born commit suicide, the women whose hair was stolen by cancer; all await that day. The planet earth groans in its’ impatience for the time to come.

You are selfish in thinking that you alone know pain.

 

Hallelujah, there is hope.

My heart overflows with gladness.

Even so:

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Hotfoot Forward

Truly, I despise bloggers who get on their site and talk all about how long it has been since they have blogged and how life has been crazy blahblahblah, but I must say: it’s been a freaking summer since I have done this. Lost my password or something like that…you get the idea.

Life has rushed on, more as a trickle at times, but always hotfoot forward. Some snippits from my journal may help to flesh out the adventures and trials through which I have waded.

My struggle against pain goes on. I don’t want it to define me, I do not even want it to be a big part of me, but it is so hard to prohibit it from consuming me. When my jobs are determined by what the pain allows, when what I do for fun and in my free time is changed complerelt as a result of it, I start to wonder whether there ever has been life without pain. Who would I be if it were not ever-present? Where would I be? Has it changed me for the better or limited my abilities and by so doing, gradually ruined me?

“The Christian, when he dies, catches hold of Christ’s garment, and Christ bears him into Heaven.”- Charles Spurgeon

Never tell God what you are NOT going to do.

The church whose members are perfect people, doing well, without a worry or care, is a church full of liars.

As the elder chokes over his tears, the words of Isaiah’s account of the death and tribulation of Jesus sinks in more deeply. Oh! the things that He endured for my sake. Can He hear the crowds cry crucify?

If God wants you in Africa, you will get there, and if you do not end up there, it means that you will be doing something way better.

Friends, commitments, abilities, dreams-all of these are things in which I have unknowingly found my sense of security for too long. All of these are things that are now gone from my life. I have a hunch that they are being stripped away. He wants me to encounter rock bottom in (nearly) every way. My dreams have faded into the landscape of my mind. My friends are all moving on. Without school or a ministry, here in the U.S. there is little for me to do. Dealing with the pain has prevented me from doing numerous things that I love and previously took pride in accomplishing-and it continues to plague me. Little did I know that these four pieces of my life shaped my security in such dynamic ways. It is humbling to stand without them. Apart from my friends, I feel lonely. With few commitments, I feel useless. Unable to do many things, inferiority touches me icily. Life apart from my dreams is empty-it is unsavory, it bores me. What sounds like negativity is simply honesty. It is hard to be sanctified. How wonderful to never be alone.

And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
-Jesus

Inside, all is better than ever.