Friday, October 15, 2010

Between the Layers: Love Revealed.

 *deep, slow exhale*

I'm back---finally. I've been longing for this precious little treat for some time now. Just picture it. Here I am, late into the night, dressed in comfort and curled up on my bed. Surrounded by an array of unkempt blankets and pillows, I can hear the (surprisingly) soothing sounds of the attic fan coming from the hall. This is the first chance I've really had for personal reflection in what seems like weeks.  So where do I begin? Perhaps I should describe the state of which this new revelation came about. Sound good? Here she goes...

The past few weeks have felt like a swirl. I don't remember the last time my body, mind and emotions were so depleted of every familiar thing. This is primarily due to the intensity of my schedule. I didn't realize how hard the adjustment was going to be in the beginning of my semester. But here I am, two months later, still growing in wisdom (i.e. exercising discipline) and smoothing out the kinks as I go. And wouldn't you know it, it's in these oh-so-lovely times of change that my immaturity's are exposed, and my need is abundant. Thankfully, the Lord is kind to my heart and generous in His faithfulness over my life.

Allow me to explain.

For starters, I have come to the grand conclusion that I am a walking paradox. It's true, friends; I constantly find myself groping for the stable and consistent ways of life. You know, something dependable in the midst of the ever changing stages of growth, all the while supplying  just enough  flavor (adventure) and spice (mystery) to fulfill my longing for abundance and wonder. *insert sarcasm here* What makes this little sweetheart even more awesome is that I don't befriend change well, but I do, however, need variety on a regular basis. You see what I mean? A paradox. Here, to further my case, indulge me for a moment...

I need time to myself, but don't care to be alone for too long. I crave deep, lasting, authentic relationships, yet I'm confronted with the urge to run at the sight of relational messiness. (Okay, that's actually really embarrassing to confess. I mean, when will there not be messiness in this life? *shakes head* Get over it, Ash.) 

Where was I? Oh yeah...

I'm the laugher who loves a good cry; I'm passionately intense, and incredibly laid back (it's possible, I assure you); my tastes are both extravagant and simple; I love surprises, but highly dislike being thrown for a loop; I'm the thinker whose fond of verbiage; I'm determined with a mild case of laziness; I'm bursting with vision, but lacking in means; I need time, but loathe the wait; I'm reserved in that slightly opinionated sort-of-way; I'm that introverted extrovert who can straddle both sides of the social fence; my first instinct is usually to rebel, while my only desire is to obey; my orderly ambitions are mostly overridden by a not-so-tidy nature. And that's just to name a few...

(Okay, I think by now that horse can meet St. Peter fully battered and bruised.)

When I'm not taxed by these "across the board" personality traits, I often ponder the purposes the Lord desires to bring to fruition through them. Granted, some are purely immature and will fade off the scene with time, while a certain few I feel are there for very specific intents and purposes. Regardless of the case, I must resist the temptation to be my own Savior, by ceasing (i.e. repenting of) my pathetic attempts to hurry sanctification along with the weak and pitiful means of vanity.  By living Christ I have relinquished all rights to be my own god, and in doing so, I have no need to despise that which His hands have created or what His perfect timing will produce. Nor will I entertain the shame and unbelief that has so easily entangled me in the past.

So, why does it matter if I try to create my own righteousness? Because His extravagant love demands all of me, to put it plainly. If I could make myself right before God, I wouldn't need Jesus' blood to pay the ransom that was due in my name thanks to my own iniquity. And because this is utterly impossible in every way, shape and form, but I continue to live as though it were possible, I defame His name whether I think I do or not.  To receive Him, I must fully die to myself and abandon every measure of self reliance that tries to destroy true love.  With that, He showcases His commitment to me in the most precious ways. In this season, He's done so by tenderly beckoning me to the place of complete desolation. And it's only within this divine paradox of my abundant emptiness that I will find His fullness overflowing into my life. 

Jesus, thank You. Let not Your faithfulness cease in my life, lest I become hindered from entering into that which You have called me to. Your grace is my only hope and my perfect companion on this side. How I long for that precious day when You will return to make all things right once again. Then and only then will life truly begin. Have the preeminence, my God. You alone are worthy of all honor, glory and dominion.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Something I've Always Wanted To Do...

Thaaaaaaaaaaat's right! My girl, Megan and I will be checking something off our beloved "Things To Try" list this Saturday at our first POTTERY class!  The best part is that we'll endeavor this together. Perfect, I know.

More to come on this! An abundance of grace and mercy over your labor day, friends! =)


I thought I'd take a quick break from my study in the book of Joel to share some recent thoughts. This study is pretty intense (which I'm all about) and I'm fascinated by many angles of God's heart, but especially: Bridegroom, King and Judge. My faith is becoming grounded in ways I never thought possible. I can feel the Lord building a firm foundation (Colossians 3:10) on which I'll stand in the following seasons. I just love Him for that. He desires that we be ready for His return in every way. So what does He do? He teaches us exactly what we need to know. He prepares our path with knowledge and wisdom and His precious Spirit so that we can be found by Him in complete faithfulness. This Man's kindness and thoughtfulness toward His Bride baffles me. Who is there like Him?

Jesus, thank You for the jealous, passionate love that burns in Your heart for Your bride. Teach us the way of Your Kingdom. Destroy the fig leaves of self preservation in our lives. We were made for You, Jesus. Come and have Your way in our hearts. Remove offense and grant grace where it's needed to believe You are who You say You are. You are our only Hope...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Trip Lee-The Invasion (Hero) Feat. Jai

I kinda love this song.

He's coming back, and sooner than we think. Are you ready?

Sunday Musings....

The combination of the Prayer Room playing lightly in the background, and the aroma of freshly made pumpkin spiced bread filling the kitchen makes for a lovely atmosphere.

Today is Sunday, which means Monday will be here sooner than I think. I still have homework to finish and laundry to start...

But first, a little unwinding is in order: processing the happenings and unfinished thoughts that took place in my day. Ready? Here she goes...

This morning I went to church with some amazingness. Her name is Megan. If you haven't met her, you really should. But be prepared for your life to change after you do. She just has that affect on a person. Anyway, after the service she and I went to lunch at Dean and Deluca where we shared bits and pieces of our past with one another over a slightly overpriced meal. Ha, it was great. Poolside homework was next on our list. Under the blaring sunshine and humid temperatures, we continued to intermittently share our hearts, thoughts and desires with each other. Then we stopped off at World Market, and lost ourselves in their many different colors, textures and home accents.... Do you know why I love that girl as much as I do? Well, I'm going to tell you. Her heart provokes me in holiness and righteousness in many ways; all of which stem from her abounding love for Jesus. I love running along side hearts that burn for this Man; hers is definitely one of them. I treasure her friendship so much.

Woven in between the comings and goings of my day were the sweet musings of Jesus, and His Kingdom that He has promised to His Bride. He fascinates me, you know. And I am so in need of His grace to love Him...I can do nothing of good in my own strength, this I have found time and time again. But blessed am I to know that His heart yearns to answer the cry for more of Him. He takes my breath away. Who is this beautiful Man?