I Saddle Up My Horse and I Ride into the City

One and a half weeks into Tour and my body has had enough. My back is only still connected to the rest of me by the grace of God and Tyler's magical, wonder-working hands. My stomach is a churn-fest and I'm constantly congested, but here we go. On the road. I'm loving the opportunity to minister and nothing pumps me up more than after we've done a show and seen the response of people, but I feel worn down. And I hate the word, but here it goes:

It's hard to say. Every time a scary thing comes up, I get all freaked out that I'm slipping away again, but in reality I'm just scared of minor setbacks. Every time I get moody is a cause for fear, but I just need to remind myself to stay calm because almost all of the battle is in my mind once the moodiness has already set in. If I let it take over, the Monster wins. If I tell it that it does not control me, I own my life. But let's be real. If I don't give my life away, then I've lost it. God only lets us truly find it once we give it up. Bible message of the day. Woot.


All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand

It's been a big blog gap, but with good reason. It's day four of actually being on the road; Tour Team 2011: North America has officially begun. It's not easy, not by a long shot. I never imagined there could be so many sick people in one place so quickly or that my back would stiffen up and strangle me in less than a week. But the good stuff...there has been some mighty good stuff. We've seen four salvations already, and tonight there was a really big response. I got to preach on Sunday night in Princeton for my first time on the trip and it completely pumped me up and refreshed me in ways I desperately needed. I am travelling with some of the most amazingly positive people, which just brings life into every situation. I just wish I didn't feel like crap, and I wish that the Monster wasn't threatening to take me down with every defeat. Today I just felt at the end of myself and it took all my energy to not burst into tears in front of a group of 70 youth. I need refreshing, and I'm not entirely sure where to get it.


Yo, Year! You're Over

This used to be one of my favourite times of year, when almost everyone had left dorms but there were enough of us left to keep it sane and I knew who was coming back and where I was headed. It feels like a morgue instead. There are enough people left, and I love the ones who are, but I really miss the ones who aren't. They only left today and it already feels empty here.

I don't know what I am doing in September. Up until a few days ago I was dead set against coming back, except for maybe one class, but now part of me really just wants to finish with the people I began the journey with three years ago. I miss when I knew and when decisions felt easy because they were.

I have to start packing but none of me wants to. I want to stay here in this perfect day forever, sun shining and cool breeze blowing and bittersweet goodbyes and perfect hugs on the grass and a case of 7up at my fingertips. If the sun goes down on today, the rest of my todays will be uncertain. I like the certainty that only today can bring.

We leave on Sunday for five weeks in a bus and I no longer know if it's crazy or the best thing of my life. When I get back, big decisions will have to be made, as well as big money. For now, though, I'm just pushing hangers to fill both sides of the closet and moving my mattress to the bottom bunk. It is suddenly very, very lonely and I have the sneaking suspicion that my wishing this year away worked better than was good for me.


I Want to Make It Last

Today is the last day. Day 231. I still have some work to do, but who cares?! I'm done. Done with the unnecessary stress and the false guilt and the opinions I cannot change. Entering a convent wouldn't change what this day can change. It's my own sense of liberation that marks today. The weight on my shoulders has been a burden that has hardened me in places I didn't want to see, but in the end I have come out stronger, wiser, and more compassionate.

I love cupcakes, too.
And playoff hockey.
And purple blankets.
And 7up.
And laser shows.

Now, I know that tomorrow will be better.


Don't Want to Just Make Love

I love when I get to go to sleep to the steady thrum of rain pounding down on the roof, only to wake up to clear skies and a light heart.

I have no more classes. I have a few assignments and then I am officially done. I realized today that everything I came here to accomplish has been completed. Every year I had a different goal and every year I have achieved it, amazingly enough. The road was harder than it needed to be and maybe if I had just listened to a still small voice more often I could have stayed on the straight and narrow. But here I stand, alive. I survived it.

There's only One who I can thank, despite how far apart we've been. Without Him, I would not have made it out alive. Really. So, God, thank You. It's time we start to celebrate my life and who You are in it, instead of remaining locked in this death march just because I know the steps.

It is for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.


Four More Sleeps

There are only four more sleeps until this year is over. That makes today Day 227. It's almost over. It's almost over. It's almost over.

It. Is. Almost. Over.

Lord, give me strength.


Everything is Not as It's Sold

I am tired of being told who I am by people who "know" me from rumors and observing the tiniest glimpses of my life. I am not the person they say I am. I am the woman who has grown immeasurably more than anyone, including myself, thought I could this year; the one who put to death the things that deserved death and allowed herself to be rescued by the only One who can save the irredeemable. I am not who I was. I will never be who they say I am, nor will I ever go back to who I hated. I have bigger things in store for my life. Their words do not control me anymore.


And It's Not Hard to Fall

I have about a thousand things to say and no photo that will represent them so that I can shut up and stop trying to voice what is actually no more than a picture in my head. I want things. Big things. I want passionate things and me being passionate about them. I want to say the things on my mind, knowing full well that I mean them, and not be afraid of people forgetting to take me seriously (or worse, remembering). I want those things that are too big and scary to say out loud, but that I ache for in ways I don't understand. I want to look at myself and love what I see, or at least be able to tell myself what I would rather see instead of this insane lack of knowing why I don't want what I have or any of the options for change. I want to always know the difference between something worth fighting, lying, flying, pushing, dying for and something that's not even worth the breath it takes to mildly disagree. I want to put my talential-ADD aside on behalf of just one thing and get brilliantly good at it, not because it naturally comes to me but because I worked my butt off. Just one thing. I want to come across meaning in the moment, but not spend so much time trying to find it that I miss out on what God's trying to say on a grander scale. I want to know myself in Him before I try to learn anything else about Him; I am so sick of the things I know and the things I debate that lead me no closer to Him or the person I need to be. I want to love with a passion and desire that scares me until death.


Reckless Abandon Wrapped in Common Sense

And now to spend my time (slightly more) wisely.

I am in the process of applying for jobs. The kind that are actually what I want to do with my life. It's terrifying. Part of me wants to marry someone ridiculously rich so he can buy me an island and I can lay in a hammock writing books for the rest of my life, or to live on a farm in Kansas and take pride in growing things and spend my life raising God-loving children and going to county fairs and die in a rocking chair on my wrap-around porch watching the sun go down, or be a secret cliff jumper who is never world-renowned but only ever does that and dies in a freak life preserver accident. But the bigger, better, eternity-focused part of me wants to put my heart and soul into doing exactly what God calls me to in the moment, going where He sends and leaving what He says I will be fine without, and dying in the most God-glorifying way possible. I think that part will win in the end. Now to spend every day for the rest of my life convincing myself all over again that the other part of me is dead and this part will be the part that leaves this world with no regrets.


Word Association


exercise program
Richard Simmons


phone call
high school

Lesson of the day: everything always ends up naked. Or I have too much time on my hands. Or I should not be allowed on the computer when I have homework to do because I procrastinate in ridiculous ways.

Lesson of the day: I will make everything end up naked when I am bored.


Day 216

It's amazing how fast time goes in hindsight. 215 days ago, 231 days seemed impossible; now I just have no idea where the time went. I've grown a lot in the meantime, but it has nothing to do with what these days represent. It has everything to do with the people in my life, and Freedom Session, and finally getting everything settled with the insurance company, and majorly working out a lot of stuff. I don't like cynicism and I think it turns me an ugly colour, but it would be a lie to pretend that this unnecessary stress has been for my benefit. There is nothing worse than being told I'm hearing an apology that is actually a self-justification; or when something I denied eight months ago is still brought up as fact; or when the purity of the entire world rests on my shoulders. Yeah. I get kind of tense. All the work I have done feels like it was for nothing. No one saw it. I wasted my energy and my sanity on people who don't see me.

On a better note, there's only two weeks left. This summer will be the bomb.