Today, there is sun and blue sky. Winter is loosening it's clutches. Life is incredible and Jesus is incredible.
I was going to post about being in Pennsylvania during the hurricane but right now, my soul is in no shape to intelligently and peacefully tell you about that week. Sometime I'll tell you about the hurricane and the hot chocolate and the stupendous people I met there, but today--TODAY.
Life is more full, challenging, overflowing, complicated, and straight-up exciting than it ever has been. It's not at all simple and it's not at all tidy and it's not at all normal.
God is teaching me so much, and mostly, He's teaching me how much I don't know. And how much I'm messed up and screwed up and flailing and outrageously selfish, and it's not about what I've done for Him, but instead, the scandalous sacrifice He made for me.
I've been getting to talk to all these beautiful, Jesus-loving, complicated, imperfect people, under black sky and white stars, over coffee, over instant-messaging, over chocolate frosties and french fries, in the car, in church pews, while shipping orders, while cleaning white trim with bleachy rags so furiously that the paint comes off because THERE ARE A LOT OF FEELINGS TO SORT OUT and there is a lot of gospel to pour out on all this crazy complicated-ness.
For about over a year now, I keep thinking this--this is the best. EVERYTHING IS AMAZING and it's stretching me and it's tough and I'm crazy about all these people that I get to serve Jesus with. And then I meet someone new and something else comes up and it gets even more amazing.
I honestly don't know how it's happening--all this over-abundance of life. More and more living and learning and struggling.
On the first day of 2013, I got to fly a kite. I'm not even kidding. Was with people who believe in kites, and despite my cynical assessment of "not enough wind" we walked to a park and ran around flying a swirly, multi-colored kite because there WAS enough wind. God so loves to blow our minds with crazy things like that.
I've been having literally magical days like the one where I got to Taco Bell at the last minute and against all odds, found the perfect (sparkly!!) dress and shiny red heels and got to talk to some of the best people about the best things, and then came home to icy-clear air and hurtifully gorgeous stars.
And I've been having scary, confusing, rainy days that I really don't see any good in until God opens up my stupid blind eyes to notice how rampantly He is showing up and getting glory through our blundering attempts at living.
I forget things, way too often. I forget that God loves me, I forget all the times He's been outrageously faithful to me while I was being outrageously unfaithful to Him. I forget that my life isn't my own, to be played around with. It's His, and I want my life to be about surrendering this whole thing, over and over.
I'm wildly screwed up, and not in a cute, whimsical "I have an imperfect crooked smile" kind of way. More like really, really, one-hundred-percent drowning-in-my-sins, lost and hopeless. And because of CRAZINESS, there is God's grace which humbles me to the dirt and thrills me to the sky. There are two things that I know for dang certain--Jesus is the best ever and I am colossally messed up.
Ask everyone in my life: I'm blindly and loudly and persistently NOT A GOOD PERSON. So yeah. Jesus.
Through Jesus, there is strength in weakness, beauty in brokenness, joy in hurt, peace in confusion, and I'm seeing it with my own eyes, and feeling in my own messed up soul, instead of just reading it, or hearing it, and nodding and agreeing without it being real to me.
Recently my sister-in-law and I found ourselves on the side of a freeway, after getting rear-ended, getting soaked by rain and talking to a beautiful, hurting woman who had just lost her brand-new baby two weeks ago. We huddled in between our car and the semi-trucks roaring past, and my hero-sister-in-law prayed for her and there was crying and shivering and "God is so good!"
So basically--Jesus is awesome. Jesus is so much more awesome than I'd ever counted on, and through everything that's been happening, it's all becoming real to me in a way that it's never been, even though I've never "not believed".
Later I'll try and write posts that make sense... this randomness + photos I've taken lately is all I have to say right now. No cohesiveness today.
I love you guys.