Friday, November 27, 2009


Heaven. This could possibly be the greatest unknown in a lifetime full of unknowns. What will it be? My ideas of heaven have always been, well, weird. I had a dream once that my mom, my dad, my brother, and I were in heaven... on a cloud, wearing blue and orange sleeping bags. I said it was a dream, did I mention I was four?

I also thought of heaven as a big swimming pool with slides and diving boards. A pool for all the world. Later, I thought of heaven as a menagerie of animals, incredibly wild, unbelievably tame. And all the pets of childhood would be there, Otis, Chester, Gertie, etc.

These things would be wonderful (especially to an eight year old), but none of them are focused on Jesus, and all of them would disappoint if that is what heaven really was. Even though I know heaven is about Jesus, I've also been afraid of it. As a girl, I was afraid of the constant worship that is written about in the Bible. If I could hardly stay focused for five worship songs on a Sunday morning, how could I sing without ceasing for eternity?

So, what is heaven anyway?

Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

I think this verse is beautiful. It's comforting to know that home is being with Jesus, whether that is with His Spirit on earth or in our real home with Him in heaven. But this is also difficult. I've grown so attached to this earthly home, even to things that are not of the Spirit. I think all my life I have wanted a promise from Jesus. I want Him to tell me that heaven will be like my home on earth, the home I know, the home I love.

Yes, I'm afraid of heaven. I'm afraid that it won't measure up to this world's beauty, this world's pleasure. I'm afraid of not being married to Tim (Matt. 22:30), afraid of not living near my family. You could tell me that isn't true, that is isn't worth worrying about... but I've already told myself. Deep inside I know heaven is too wonderful for me to imagine... and I know that once I get there, I will realize that it couldn't be anything else. It must be what it will be, but the will be I cannot know.

I don't know if you have read C.S. Lewis' book The Last Battle. This book is the very last one in the Chronicles of Narnia. In it (warning: spoiler), several characters die and go to be with Aslan in heaven. Somehow, the following passage is immensely comforting to me, as I hold tightly to these Shadowlands.

"Then Aslan turned to them and said:

"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often."
"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly.
"Your father and mother and all of you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead.
The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Greatest Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." - The Last Battle

I have realized that my whole outlook on eternity must change. Death is only the beginning of the beautiful, not the end of all I love.

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." John 14:1-4

He will draw us to Himself, He will wipe away every tear, and the Groom will lead us to His wedding feast.

"creative endeavor" sidebar

You may have noticed a change in the layout of my blog. I have a little box that shows things I'm selling on right now, only a few cards I have drawn. If you are interested, you can click on the box... pretty cool, huh?

I've been attempting to do more things with art, and I have been enjoying it immensely. This is one of those things. So, if anyone ever wants me to make them something, let me know. I am open to creating some special orders.

I will continue to use this space for my thoughts, and also for drawings and such. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

reign Lord Jesus

Yikes. No posts in a very long time. This is a small tragedy. It means I haven't known where my head was located for a month or so. And even now, I am typing in an attempt to find it.

Do you ever feel like you are totally overwhelmed by changes and Jesus is teaching you many things... like, you can't do it on your own? I know I should have learned this lesson the last time He taught me, but somehow it doesn't sink in to my fallen brain for more than a month at a time.

Today, while riding the train home I reflected upon a couple things. First, while I prayed to my Lord to save me from myself... I listened to Sufjan Steven's sing "What Child is This?" in my headphones. Reflecting upon the Babe, the Son of Mary made me realize that Jesus came to bring peace to my heart. And I lose sight of Him, and lose hold of the joy... joy that comes from realizing He has defeated the sin that taints my life.

Secondly, my need for a Savior has not increased, it is as strong as ever. My awareness of that need, however, is growing daily.

And it is hard to accept this. I wish that being a Christian meant I was perfect at the moment of salvation. Instead, I am being sanctified. And sanctification....aches. Somehow, my dead flesh keeps begging for resuscitation and I must ask for Christ to reign in me again.

I have lots of ideas for reducing stress, ideas for how I can be more fulfilled. Instead of worrying about what I want, I should seek what Christ would have for me. Somehow, I neglect the fact that my life is no longer my own, I was bought at a price. It belongs to my Savior...

Take what I have Jesus, it worth more in Your hands that it will ever be in mine.

I want to know You, please help me want to know You.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

burnside writer's collective

I don't know how familiar you all are with Donald Miller, but he is the author of Blue Like Jazz, and he recently published a new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He started a website called the Burnside Writer's Collective with friends of his to publish writers writing on Social Justice, Current Events, Reviews, Poetry, etc.

I was recently published on their new site, so I thought I would give you all a chance to take a look at it.

The web address is and the article is titled Stereotypes and Sin in the Social Justice section. Here is the link directly to the article This essay was originally written as part of my old blog, pursuing peace.

Thanks for reading, enjoy this lovely autumn day!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The last couple weeks I have been thinking about the transience of this life. I'm sort of embarrassed to claim it, lest it seem that I'm trying to sound more intellectual, brilliant, etc. It seems like the sort of thing you would say to impress. Ok, I'll cast those doubts aside... the transient state of our lives can be a scary and intimidating thought to dwell upon for too long. It makes you feel, well, mortal.

All these things are passing away. It's all been said before, "All flesh is grass, and all it's beauty is like the flower of the field."

My life has been compared to that of a flower, which may last but one day.

How do I live in light of my passing? Well, a short examination of my thoughts this morning led me to believe that my life is more often than not wasted on useless things. For example, I will give a snapshot of my thoughts as I donned my brown sweater in front of a full length mirror.

"What if brown goes out of style, thus invalidating 75% of my wardrobe? Will I conform, or will I suffer the consequences of fashion? Wait, is brown in style to begin with?"

I worry to often about things that don't matter, and push to tomorrow the things that are necessary for life. Yesterday at the high school youth group Tim and I work with Pastor Bob talked about the Word of God and how vital it is that we know it, study it, and ask the Spirit to work in our lives through it. How often is that forefront in my mind? Out of the thousands of hours I have already lived, how many have I used meditating on God's word?

"The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
Isaiah 40:7-8

God knows I'm grass. God knows I have a sheep's IQ. In His grace He has given me His word so that I can know my frailness and invest in His kingdom with the breaths left to me. He knows my limitations, and in my weakness, He proves strong. Give me Your strength Lord, that I may know you through Your Word, and work in Your kingdom until You call me home.
I don't need to be afraid of this transient life, I serve the eternal God and His love never ends.

beginning again

I haven't written for awhile. My last blog seemed to die on the vine with the approach of my wedding. Busy days, turned to busy weeks and the blog was left alone. It wasn't only the busyness, but it seemed like my inability to think one coherent thought with the list of tasks and life changes that were looming immediately underneath my eyelids kept me from writing.

All that being said, I'm starting a new blog with my new married name. So many things change with a wedding, and then you get to live out those changes in marriage. And I love it. Tim is wonderful. Being his wife is more beautiful than I could have imagined. I am his beloved, and he is mine.

Since he has given me his name, I have taken a new URL, a new blog.

The title of this one may seem confusing, but it is an idea that has stuck with me for awhile. I have been on a sort of pilgrimage to understand the grace of God, and it seems to me that grace is one of the most wonderful gifts, something that is inexplicably beautiful and it consistently runs counter to the world I know. In a word, it laughs at the ways of this world, offers us the Son, and brings us into the Father's love. This blog is about living in this grace, a grace that I don't understand, seek to know, need to receive, and need to give.

This blog, similar to pursuing peace, will have essays, thoughts, poems, and perhaps some drawings and photos as well.

So, to you my dear reader, this may have been less than understandable. If so, my deepest apologies. I will try better in my next post. And so it begins, again.