As Always

Of course He answered! And, as always, it was not in the way I expected. I was trying desperately to focus on just praying while I got done what I needed to do yesterday, but I kept getting sidetracked. Thankfully though, my humanity is nothing compared to God's faithfulness.

I was going through old birthday cards, trying to decide if any of them meant enough to keep, and I found one from my grandparents. It doesn't matter what it said, the important part is that I read it and knew. Without a doubt.

I am going back to school. I am finishing this year, finishing well, and getting out. And when the hard times come and I get overwhelmed and I wish with all my life that I hadn't, I will come back here, read these words, and know that I was being obedient.

The key to obedience in the wilderness is being faithful to what you knew before you entered. That's what I'm doing. And when I see glimpses of sunshine through the dense trees, I adjust my path accordingly and keep on trekking.


But All the Miles that Separate Disappear Now when I'm Dreaming of Your Face

It's exactly 12:34. In elementary school my friends and I would always be on the lookout for special times: 11:11, 3:21, 5:55, etc. And still, to this day, it excites me when I catch one.

I don't have much to say today. I am still undecided all over the place and need somewhere to land. Nothing is falling together the way I would like (I don't care how it looks, I just need a plan), and I'm confused and need to commit to seeking answers.

Aha! I am committing to seeking answers. God, by the end of the day I need to know. I'm going to seek You until I find what I need.


Find Me Here, Speak to Me

I did not plan on blogging tonight and the last thing I need right now is less sleep. Isn't that how it always starts? Well, the best ones do at least.

I'm in debate mode. I was dead set on either not going back to school at all or only going back for one course. I openly declared it in April, sure of my path. Over time I have continued to feed it and feed it, nurturing it, until it has grown into its own entity. Fighting "The Man" out of hurt and fear and anger turned into a life-force of its own. Something that has become abundantly clear to me lately, however, is that any life-force besides Christ-in-me is dangerous and needs to be crushed. It's not that forgoing a year of school is sin, but worshiping its ideology and proclaiming it as a virtue is. Thus, I have been forced to reevaluate.

After a summer of healing, and finding peace in God, and learning to depend on Him above all else, and being with a man who has cared for me without pushing God out of the way; after all this, I am beginning to learn to breathe again. And with each breath, I can see clearer and clearer that my path cannot be staked out with directions from my old handbook "Bitterness and Remorse." God has better for me than that. So here I sit, honestly not sure what to do. There is this huge, overwhelmingly beautiful part of me that wants to go back and live a year of redemption; not to "show" anyone or to receive praise from man, but because my God is the God who redeems the irredeemable. He can take my broken past and use it for His glory, to create a new, glorious future. I want to finish, and finish well. I believe those are good desires, Godly desires.

Then there is this part of me that would rather die than go back. It's humiliating and will bring to the surface a lot that I thought I left behind but will probably still need to be dealt with. I don't want to get hurt again. I don't want to be overwhelmed again. I don't want to fail again, and have 100 people staring at me with the look. The "I knew if we watched her long enough it would happen again" look. I'm not afraid of being who I was, but I am afraid of the sinner I still am. The question is not whether or not I will sin, but if my sins will be deemed "acceptable" or not by those watching. It has become a sad but obvious truth that we accept some sins as natural and something that everyone does, while others are crimes; I promise you God doesn't like either. And I am afraid of my wounded pride that would surely be the by-product of going back on my previous prideful declarations of leaving school behind.

Mulling over that last point, I foolishly realized that I just preached on this as part of my sermon on Sunday. Ha. Isn't that always the way? Repenting of hasty, angry, embittered words is a blow to the ego, and is absolutely necessary sometimes. If my biggest worry is embarrassingly having to tell everyone I was wrong, then I think I may be just fine.

Tonight I was reading in 1 Kings and I came across one of my favourite random stories. In short, it is the tale of an unknown prophet who, after doing God's will to a T, listens to another man's lie that God told him to tell this prophet to disobey a direct order from God. Foolishly listening, the unnamed prophet disobeys God and is then mauled by a lion on his way home. Moral of the story? When God tells you something and you know it's God, do it. Don't listen to someone else, don't listen to fear, don't listen to hunger (like this man did); obey God. Whatever God asks me to do in this situation, I need to obey. If it is to go back to school and swallow my pride, I need to do that. If it is to go work or go to YWAM or sit in my room and pray for eight months, I need to do that. And when, because it is a definite, when people tell me I'm doing the wrong thing, I need to shrug my shoulders, thank them, and continue on the path God has sent me.

Lord, find me here. Speak to me. I need to hear You.


Time, Silent, Heals Nothing; Time in Silence Heals Everything

There is nothing I love more lately than silence. It's not that music and people talking and noise in general is bad, per se, but absolute silence is somehow more enjoyable. Sitting with a breeze and no thoughts in my head is refreshing.

I don't want this all the time, but right now, for this week, it satisfies me. All I've done for far too long is think and think about everything until I go crazy. It's easier to simplify.

I've been realizing a lot about myself in the silence, especially about my relationship with God. It's been so cool to finally see Him coming into proper perspective. I always thought that the more people I brought into my life, the less space I would have for Him. Or maybe I only thought that because I always allowed it to be so. Seeing it now, though, I realize that He always maintains the same amount of space in my heart; He just allows me to expand and include others in it as well. Having a boyfriend or lots of close friends doesn't mean they take up empty space so that I don't feel alone; they build their own addition into the outer walls of a full space. Christ still consumes my whole heart. He is the only one I burn for. And one day, when I do get married, the three of us will enter a relationship together like no other. But without that, I am still satisfied because my heart is full.

Time in silence heals everything.


You're a Wrecking Ball in a Summer Dress

Just taking a break from disastrous sermon prep to share about my first Sabbath in a long long time!

What I did today: I slept in a bit to prolong a really good dream I can no longer remember; ate egg rolls for breakfast and caught up on some Rookie Blue; ate candy and relaxed in front of some mindless TV; hung out with a beautiful girl I haven't seen in forever and ate sinfully delicious and expensive sorbet; walked around the lake at a park; had a brief skype chat with ma man. And worked on my sermon.

I'm preaching tomorrow morning for the second time this summer, and I'm nervous to say the least. Last time (apparently) went well, but this one...oh man. I am going to be a sweating MACHINE tomorrow. Ew. I've been preparing for hours and hours and hours before today, but I still feel like I need so much more. No more, Leanne! I'm cutting you off!

I feel lighter. Happier. Saner. This is gooooooood!


If I Leave My Heart with You Tonight

I just dropped Jon off at the airport. Got up at 4am, no biggie. It's not a long time away by any means, but when you spend months on end seeing someone every single day, it's a shock to the system to be away for even one day. How will I ever survive eleven?! ...Heh. It's going to be a nice break and it means lots of free time to do things I need to get done but never seem to have time for. But darn it I miss him already.

There is nothing more beautiful than watching the sun rise over blue mountains and misty fields. I don't know what it is, but on this particular occasion the morning air makes me feel like I'm back in first year Bible College. I'm suddenly transported back to a similar scene: sun rising, misty field with a stand-alone tree and a cool, damp path to breakfast. It makes me think of sitting in a windowsill during sunset, a hot pink bedspread in a blue room, learning how to curl my hair, late night talks with a beautiful woman who I miss dearly, coffee stains on the carpet every morning, shower hugs and pebbles on my window. I don't know where this came from, but it's like I'm there, like I'm that person. What I wouldn't give to go back and tell her all the things I know now, all the things I wish I'd known then. Things would be so different.

But they're not. So here I am, a person who is learning and slipping and still crawling through the wilderness, being dragged through the mud in preparation for all that God has for me. Half the time, yes, I am the one who throws myself down, ties myself to the horse and then hits it with a stick, but I'm learning to better judge situations by God's standards and not my own. And when other people tie me to the horse "for my own good" or the horse just knocks me over, I'm getting better at overcoming, standing back up, and continuing on. Thank God that through all this He is carrying the load, or at least as much as I will give Him at any one time, and I do not have to do this alone.


If I Fall, Will You Let Me Down Easy?

I am tired of not doing the things I want to do because I feel held down by things that realistically aren't barriers at all. I tether myself to "obligations" so that there is no risk in taking that step. So. No longer. I am chopping myself free and going and doing and experiencing and living.

To start: I am taking a sabbatical. I don't care that I'm not a pastor or finished Bible school or old enough to be burnt out. I was, and I still feel the effects. I have dealt with some of the crappiest of the crap in the church and I need to be cleansed of it. So I am taking the time to do that, and soon. It will probably only be a week, but I think that's all I need. I will go somewhere beautiful and immerse myself in all the things I love but seem to never have time for, including silence. It will be glorious.

I am also going to start taking legitimate Sabbaths so this never happens again. That means: doing nothing out of obligation; doing what I want in the moment because I want to and not worrying about money; enjoying rest. This includes but is not limited to: sitting in front of the TV all day, going on long walks in pretty places, ordering in Chinese or Indian or just going somewhere stupidly expensive where I need to dress up and eat by myself which will be perfect; go to see a movie; paint a self-portrait; drive to Kelowna and back; make a lavish dessert and eat the whole thing by myself; get a pedicure; go to the MAC store and get them to put make-up on me and then buy nothing; purchase a beautiful pair of shoes just because I can; apply for ridiculous jobs online just for the heck of it; clean for the joy of it; knit a sweater; read Twilight again just because I can and I love it; wear slutty clothes around the house and through the McDonald's drive-thru; go pick wild salmon berries; wear my grad dress to whatever destination I have chosen; read whatever part of the Bible I darn well please; hang out with someone I haven't seen in a really long time; write letters to people I still have things to say to and then burn them in the backyard; drink beer and listen to my ipod while sprawling out on the grass; spend three hours doing my nails; go to a nude beach; wear a ridiculous amount of make-up with my hair in an outrageous up-do and wear sweats; pray for a full hour without wandering or falling asleep; watch a full TV series season in a day; walk around downtown handing out 5 dollar bills to every homeless person I see. Or something like that.

Things I will continue to do: read my Bible every night before I go to sleep; meet with good friends on a regular basis to hash out life and just be real; not get hung up on looking fab every single day; put my relationship with God before anyone else.

I am entering a new chapter of my life. I can feel it in my bones and it tingles in good ways. Where will I be this time next year? No one knows except God. But that's okay because even if my life falls apart: "Even then, as bad as it will be - God's decree! - it will not be the end of the world for you." Thanks Jeremiah, you rock. Let's hang out again soon.


Pain Is There for a Reason

There are a lot of thoughts spinning around in my head, a lot to digest. Things I thought I knew for sure are brought into question and the same old hurts bring new shocks of pain where I didn't know they could go. It makes me question being back at school and how I relate there and if I should go back at all.

Today I went downtown and ate poutine and saw my favourite places and held this one hand for hours. Tomorrow is back to work and back to life, but for one day it was escape. Soon I will need to find another job, decide about school, fill my life with things all over again.

The summer is over in four weeks and I have a lot to think about.


So We Can Tell Them We Did Everything We Could

I have been musing on wilderness lately, and have come to a startling conclusion: I will never get out the way I came. If my goal is to get back to the way I was before, I will fail miserably for the rest of my life. But. But if my goal is to come out changed through my wanderings and better for them, then I have a chance at succeeding.

It is not called a time of preparation for nothing. No scholar ever said that Moses in the wilderness was a waste, or David, or Jesus. What if to make my own life have meaning, this is what it takes? Then I will press on, with the actual goal in mind and not some faint nuance of who I used to be and wish I could be again. I can never be, will never be, would never want to be her again. No. There is a greater goal, a higher cause, a life that is more worth living by far.


Eating Cherries with My Lips

Yes, those are my lips. But not my nose. And yes I'm eating cherries, but they're not that colour and I don't act like I'm making out with them.

There are less than five weeks left in the summer, and only four of work. Oh how the time flies. It's actually unbelievable. Tomorrow is another day of colour-coordinating crayons and throwing out disgusting glued up stuff. And I'm preaching again next Sunday. I'm both absolutely terrified and completely at ease.

I look around and see potential for beautiful things. I think I'm gonna stick with that.


Life Makes Love Look Hard

First things first, I need to write a blog today. Check.

Second, I should spend quality time with my boyfriend buying silly things and being together. Check.

Third, I love watching my nails on the keyboard. That doesn’t really require a check.

The summer is more than half over and I feel like it has been a very long one indeed. I like the feel of the sun on my face and a cool breeze in my hair and the windows down and Brad Paisley singing in my radio and the surf on my feet and ice cream and little bits of vodka and spaghetti straps and flip flops and short shorts in my bedroom. But it hasn’t really been that kind of summer. It’s been more of a pants-wearing and go to bed early and wear a sweater and just drink iced tea and fall asleep after doing what I should kinda summer. But that’s okay...it really is. I am enjoying it.

And more than that, I actually am enjoying it. I am enjoying the people I get to spend it with and the joys of the little things. I like that I have days and then remember them the next morning, and good days happen. It feels good. The sun’s not out much but mine is. Sure, I still cry too much and get sad sometimes and need to fight things out, but it feels good. Because I can feel it.

I am a lady of many thoughts, and one day I might just get them all down.