Two Days, Two Nights

...and the accommodations in no way look like what is pictured above. Two days and I am home. I probably do not need to go into what being home means, as I have already done so continuously over the last few weeks.

sitting in a hall
separated by distance
too great to traverse

Haikus say it all.


You Are Stronger, Sin Is Broken

For the first time in more than four weeks, I am finally alone. More than anything, I now realize that it is alone time that I miss while on this trip. There is not a moment, sleeping or waking, eating or walking, even in the bathroom, that is not surrounded by people. I love people, but, for me, refreshing only comes from solitude. My first thought when they left the church? Time to put on some tunes and blog. Until now it's been music in my head because, let's be real, how do I sing when I'm surrounded only by people who actually can? That's another thing: a soul release is singing and I've been deprived of that as well. I also want the time to blog about what's really on my mind and not just the meager scratchings off the edge of my consciousness at the end of the day when all of me is dying for sleep.

Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.

I am not doing well. I do not get homesick very easily, but this is getting ridiculous. All I want to do is go home, sit in my room drinking tea, and read the Twilight series all by myself. Actually. Then I will eat by myself. Then I will sleep by myself. Shower, sing, cook, drive, go for walks...by myself. I love people, especially some people, but I need to get myself back together. This trip has been more draining than I expected. I am struggling with the physical, mental and spiritual wars that I already fight every day, and these have only been magnified by crazy food schedules and too little sleep and annoyances and too much sleep.

But honestly, won't someone stop this train?

There is officially one week left, and I will make it through.

Sidetrack: I thought I was alone until the pastor of the church came upstairs and we just had the sickest talk. That kind of alone time I can handle: the kind where I am being poured into and encouraged by someone wiser than myself. What an encouragement! It has been so long since a stranger who so clearly knows nothing about me speaks so clearly into who God has called me to be. His main premise: if I am called to preach, preach. Don't get shoved into children's work or youth work or doing the dishes just because I am a woman. Preach the Gospel whether they are 8 or 80 and do it with the confidence that comes from being called with purpose of God. And be mentored under a person who loves the Word, heals the sick when they pray, and will be a positive enforcer of gifts. Wow. This is what I needed right now. Everything else I was going to write was about confusion for the summer and just how exhausting it is to not know my next step, but this really was refreshing. Thank You, Lord.


Immeasurably More

That pretty ball of light is your head as I rip it off your body. Slash that was just a dream I had last night before commencing our 18 hour drive today.

Home. Home is exactly where I want to be.

Jesus, it was May 21st. Did You not see the signs held up on every corner in New York City or read the pamphlets all about how You were supposed to come back today? Why oh why did You not?

Random Jumble:


The Riot in My Heart Decides to Keep Me Open and Alive

I don't know which is worse: watching something new that breaks my heart, or listening to something old that does the same thing.

Eleven more days and I am home. I don't want this to turn into a countdown because that is not what it is meant to be. I know I will miss this and want this and wish I had done things differently once it is over, but for now I long for the same old: my bed, my shower, my own food and my own life. I miss alone time.

We passed endless streams of perfectly calm lakes on our trip today. The water was completely still, but on it raged the cloud and sunset sky, and acres of perfect pointing pines. That is exactly how I feel. If you look for water, you see the flatness and smoothness of nothing wrinkling the surface; if you look at what it is reflecting, you see something entirely different.

Another hotel tonight, and then onward. It seems mundane, but there is something growing inside me that I cannot explain. On the surface it is invisible; from another angle, it is breath-taking. When it grows to fullness...words fail.


You. Make. Me.

Two weeks left. I sing the same songs, eat the same food, perform in the same churches, sleep on the same beds. Every day the same. Every night the same. It is all running together into one giant melting pot. I need something giant to shake me awake. Please don't let it be the wrong kind.


Get Your Heart Racing

Of all the places I went in New York City, the concrete jungle, my favourite by far was a little more natural than formations of metal and rock for man's use. I loved Central Park more than words.

We officially have two and a half weeks left on the tour and, though I am beginning to realize exactly how much I will miss it when it is over, I am ready for my own bed and regular meals and hockey games with a cat in my lap (because the Canucks will still be in by then!!).

It's amazing how within hours of posting my last blog about a lack of job options, my lap is suddenly full of them. What to do? No idea. I guess I'll pray and see who actually takes me and go from there.

These streets will make you feel brand new and these lights will inspire you. True, true, truth.


You Can't Always Get What You Want

A good rest in a nice bed.
A hot shower that is more than ten minutes long.
Food that is not an imminent heart attack.
Clean clothes.
Comfy shoes.
A personal art studio.
An annual vacation somewhere extremely hot.
A lack of grey hair until 40...or 25.
To go camping with the people I love.
Telling people exactly what I think of them.
Someone to move out with.
A puppy.
A job that pays well and excites my soul.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.


Firm through the Fiercest Drought and Storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled and strivings cease.

It is terrifying to fall into the hands of the living God, as one wise and inspired man once wrote, but I say that it is also terrifying to put anything of mine in His hands. My thoughts, my dreams, my deepest desires, my life...all these things feel best when grasped by my own feeble, mortal hands. If only I could see how vainly I struggle to hold onto that which was never mine in the first place. And then there are His hands. They hold all these things and more. As they encircle me, gently holding both me and all the things I grasp so tight, He asks me to consciously hand over that which He already holds; it is not for His benefit, but for mine. I have the lightened load of not having to carry my burdens any longer, but look! They are still right there. He does not take to hurt me, but to help me manage that which I never held to begin with. The Master of destinies who holds everything in His capable hands becomes the Director of my life, not just in word but in heart attitude. It really is all about the heart.

He is teaching me many things, the greatest of which when I am planning a message and realize that if I speak without taking it to heart, I will be a gargantuan hypocrite. If nothing else, I will leave with a greater sense of who He is in my life. And of course there is also else.


Put It to You

I am back in Toronto. It is only for the weekend, but that does not make it easier to bear. Just recounting some of the events of last summer in the van on the way into the city was enough to get me nauseous and sweating profusely. I also had a not-so-pretty breakdown in the bathroom, realizing how much crap had actually gone down there. And that is not even the beginning. This place is an emotional war zone that supersedes time and space; it is as though I never left. I am here with new people under a different kind of protection, yet I still feel as naked as the first day I was belittled here. On the other hand, it also reminds me of a surprising strength that surpassed all circumstances that I toted around like a battle shield; let's face it, that was Christ in me and nothing to do with me at all. If I do not hold onto Him now, I will not make it.


Consider Yourself Notified

It's funny when life jumps up and slaps me where and when I least expect it. Tonight it was through a Facebook message informing me that a group was being archived due to inactivity, the group being a tribute to a teacher who died while I was in Grade 12. It took this to realize that I haven't thought about him since I graduated and it makes me incredibly sad because that seems to be what I do when people die: I don't think about it and end up forgetting they ever died and then, eventually, that they ever lived. What a waste of a memory.

This is so sad in this case, especially, because he was such a good man who loved God and loved his students. And he inspired me. He was a huge push behind my drive to do acting as a career, and maybe that was part of why I stopped. He died, and with him went my remembrance of his high enthusiasm for my abilities. I need to choose to see this as a positive thing, though. Without losing a part of that passion, I may never have become surrendered enough to pursue ministry the way I do today.

I am now in thinking mode. I cannot imagine a world where we know the time we will die, as does everyone else, and it causes neither shock nor sadness; a world that does not know cancer or disease and where life here is not the end but a precursor to the Greater Beyond. Yeah, Mr. Lewis has me thinking again, too.


I Hate When the Only Song Stuck in My Head Is Horrendous and Unworthy of a Blog Title

I had many things to say, but if I do not barf up the putrid nasties first, nothing good can come out.

How do you tell someone they're making the worst mistake of their life? Literally. Especially when they haven't spoken to you in months and even now, with this biggest decision, don't take the time to say something. I am just overwhelmingly sad. All I can say is how deliriously happy I am that it is not me.

So onto real life. We are currently just outside Chicago, staying in a hotel, and I am so excited to just breathe and have some me-time. I love being around people but I legitimately need time for myself by myself or I lose my charming habits of smiling and not biting people's heads off. I want to be nice and non-whiny and pull my own weight...I really do. But tired, hungry, sick, achy Leanne hates those things.

In 27 days I will be back home, which seems both impossibly soon and hopelessly far off. In time, however, I am sure it will come about as fast as anything ever does, and I will miss it but go on with my life to face new adventures.

The last few days in the van, I spent some free time reading a C.S. Lewis book, Out of the Silent Planet. I always knew the man had a gift for using mythical fiction to express incredible God-truths, but this went beyond what I expected. Just a plug for the book as well as a precursor to all the blogs that will mention it in the weeks to come. It has actually changed things.