This is officially my 300th blog post! Happy sailing to me!

This is a tribute to all the times I have spent more time and energy looking for the perfect picture on google images to complete my blog than the actual planning, conceptualizing and writing of the darn thing. Today was definitely one of those days. Trying to find a picture that wasn't blood, Gerard Butler's face or someone else's tribute to their own 300th blog post was quite the feat.

This is my first day reinstating a very dear, very highly regarded tradition with an equally awesome person. Here we sit, in our Starbucks, in our seats, and I am writing an epicness blog about our epicness. I love her to death.
Sidenote: I have officially decided to begin using "epic" again. It was way too overused for way too long and I am tired of ignoring the perfect word. EPIC.

This is not where I thought I would be a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. Not Starbucks sipping the perfect coffee; I'm sure I was aware that I would still be doing that. I am referring to Bible college, earning a degree I do not need or even really want at this point; "devoting" my life to God by going to school to do what He wants me to do instead of what I want to do, which ironically is also the driest spell I have ever experienced in my walk with Him; arguing semantics on that which has always come most naturally; carless, jobless and boyfriendless; contemplating the big things while still failing to grasp the small stuff; and turning 23. I am slowly and steadily getting old, but the older I get the younger I feel. Now that I'm getting into my mid-twenties, late-twenties and early-thirties really do not seem old at all; in fact, they seem younger and more fascinating than ever. I cannot wait to be there: to have my own family established, to be living on the edge of whatever God has for me, to know that I'm still not even half done this leg of the journey and yet I've already lived what feels like a thousand lifetimes. I used to want to live forever, or to never grow old, or to reincarnate and know it; now that seems ridiculous. I want to live this life, live it well, and then go on with the rest of it with Him by my side. Literally. That is the only eternal future that sounds good in my books.

This is a ramble blog. I can see that now. It is a lot of things flowing out that link perfectly in my head but probably look like a gibberish-ish list of random thoughts to anyone else. I feel like I am on the verge of something huge, and if I stop then I will lose it. It's on the tip of my brain, you know? Right there, just out of reach. A breakthrough.

This is a recollection: at chapel on Thursday the speaker talked about Christ within us. I almost cried, not because he said anything profound whatsoever, but because He had just been speaking the same thing to me. Last week, pouring rain, took a shower, looked outside, saw the rain, got dressed, went outside, sat in the rain beneath a tree and stared at a dead swamp and a grey sky. I was real with Him. I told Him I don't hear Him, don't feel Him, don't really know how to anymore. And it broke my heart that it wasn't breaking my heart. So I told Him I wasn't moving until He spoke. I sat, soaked, sort of prayed, tried to sing but couldn't sing the things that wouldn't be real on my lips or in my heart, sat and sat, soaked and did not cry. So many times I went to get up and give up, but I knew that would be the end. How could it be the end?! I'm in Bible college, studying to pastor people in their walks, and I was on the edge of walking away from my own. But something stopped me every time. Finally, drenched face and hair and hopes, I stood and looked at the grey swamp and the grey sky and the grey grey greyness, ready to leave, and it came. You're in me. Here I am, in this desert of grey, and You're still in me. I don't see You, I don't feel You, but You're in me. And without doubt, there was a new transcendent peace that said, definitively, I will survive this season. I will come out of it better than when I started. What a sigh of relief.

This is relief. This is the 299th blog I didn't know I would write when I started out, but here it is. And I am here. And He is still here. And even when I don't recognize it, He's still speaking, re-assuring, giving peace and gently guiding me.

This is okay.


Baby, I Believe

Every Sunday I read PostSecret - not because it is ritual or uplifting or fun - because every week there is something that grabs me and I know it is my secret, too. This one is from years ago, but it caught me today all over again.

Today was such a good day. I saw an old friend and did not die; life is too good to give someone the power to wreck it for me. And the further the good goes, the more sure I become that I am going to make it through this season alive.

I have two-hour-old coffee. Yum.

I am sitting here smiling for no apparent reason. Hallelujah.


Make Me Feel

I heard a song a little while ago that made me move. This would not be notable except that such an occurrence has been rare as of late.

I need movement, shell-shock, high-velocity rampages into unknown territory.

Move number one: get the hell out.


At First Glance

Today has been a beautiful day. The weather is ugly and I feel equally so, but there is something magical in the air today.

I have been trying to cry for weeks, really cry from the bottom of myself, and today I was finally able. What came out was stronger, deeper and scarier than I could have imagined. But it was so good. I made some strong, deep, and scary (to match the mood) decisions, and have not felt so good in months. There is an end in sight. There is control and safety and irresponsibility and uncertainty and life in sight. In sight. That sounds so good to me.


Leave a Rose for What Might Have Been

I'm learning to love You differently. I think I may have been going about it all wrong.

Deep breath.
I will not be able to do this alone forever. Not hearing You in the wilderness only leads back to death. I've lived there and I never want to again; despair does not suit me. Without You, that is all that is left.
And out.


No Day but Today

I find it to be the utmost in corny when my blog title and Facebook status are the same. Ugh. But when something gets stuck, there's no other way.

I figure if I get this mentality into my head, I will use every moment to its fullest. So far it has not worked...or, at least, so says my logical brain. I say it has not worked, but only because I have not completed any homework. Valid reason? Maybe not.

What I have done: spent time with people, gone for a walk, laughed. Soul-restoring kind of stuff. What is so wrong with that? This week has been the best intensive I've been in so far. Church Growth Strategies. Barry told us to try to take away one thing every day, and stop trying to remember everything and end up retaining nothing. Yesterday was focusing on Psalm 23 and all about how God leads, restores, refreshes, guides and reprimands. So flipping good. And I think I am going to be okay. I don't remember the last time I thought that, but I do.

I want to be a whole person, you know? I want to be that person God made me to be. This gets tricky when my theology gets too involved, because that states that no matter what I do I will be, in effect, being who He created me to be. But! - besides that! Because that just hurts my head - I want to love Him like I used to. I want to remember what it's like to know He loves me, for all the inexplicable reasons in the universe. And I want to walk in the way He asks.

It's funny. I've been watching my life closely lately, to see my "level of sin." What do I need to work on? Where are my greatest shortcomings? Realizing that I have been messing up only after fairly lengthy intervals (considering my general humanity...ness) was a shock. Until. How to explain this? I break the first commandment more than any other, and forget to love Him and worship Him only. I forget about the fire in His jealousy and the wrath He has for those who trample His gift of life. But that's me. I shrug off His humiliation, life, work, miracles, death, resurrection, sovereign reign...I shrug them off as philosophical topics and things to contend over instead of just standing in awestruck wonder, speechless and breathless and guileless at His feet. Can someone just punch me, tell me to get over myself, and then punch me repeatedly every time I forget? I forget to love Him, to honor Him, to recognize Him for all that He is and die to myself.

Put yourself to death, Leanne! And then live for Him. Then, and only then, will you be fulfilled. Only at that point will you be satisfied and whole. Go for walks with Him. Laugh with Him. Yell at Him, if that is what it takes. Get angry, get over it. Read the Word, meditate on it, know it in the depths of your soul until it consumes every part of you. Live for it, die for it. Do not bend under the pressure to let people use and abuse and slaughter it; stand up for the Truth and then live by it. Then die by it. And drive until you fall in love with Him again.

Mercy saved me
Mercy made me whole
Mercy found me
You called me as Your own

This leads to a million other life things, but it is so essential. Foundational. Then I can build the rest.

Oh, and. I think I have finally figured out my "body art" plans. Phenom, that's what they are. Balance. Perfect.

If I knew what I were saying, I would have probably stopped by now.


A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

I think I have finally given up on school. Tomorrow morning I will have reached the three late assignments mark. All-time record. And I don't care.

I have given up on blogging regularly. I start, write a few words, and have nothing else.

I don't know where the switch is located inside of me that snaps me from fine-and-away-from-the-edge back to this-is-not-a-good-place-to-stand. If I knew, I could tape it in one direction and keep it that way. No such luck.

And I realized on Saturday night that I don't know why I don't write anymore. Not blogs. I just...don't write anymore. All I have ever done is write, and I have stopped. Key in all of this? Probably.

And I have stopped with the happy things. This is not happy....

I need a long, looong vacation.


Day 4 - "It's Not Waiting, It's Anticipation"

I have started writing three days in a row and been stopped every time by a lack of anything to say. I do not know why I'm in school anymore. I feel like I'm just failing at everything. I have no home church. No ministry. No mentors. This is probably where I'm supposed to be right now and it's only mocking me. I feel without purpose or direction. And it feels very lonely where I'm standing. But if I leave, where would I go?

And all I want to do is eat chips.