Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hold the Light -Caedmon's Call

My friend Courtney sent me this song. It's funny how songs or messages make their way to you at the very moment you need to hear them. That's what this was for me. Sometimes you can't do it on your own and you need someone who knows you to hold the light in your darkness and remind you who you are. I am so thankful I have people in my life who hold the light for me.

It's been a long year

Like a long sleepless night.
Jacob wrestled the angel,
but I'm too tired to fight.
Every Wednesday
for two years we've met.
I've showed you all my anger
my doubts and bitterness.

There was no judgment in your eyes
just the silent peace of God,
that felt so real in you.
Will you hold the light for me?
Will you hold the light for me?

And I stay up late
because I cannot sleep.
I don't want to face the quiet
where its just God and me.
I'm waiting for the gavel
handing me the sentence down,
because I don't believe forgiveness
or even repentance now.

There was no judgment in your eyes
Just the silent peace of God,
that felt so real in you.
Will you hold the light for me?
Will you hold the light for me?

I want to feel redemption
flowing through my veins.
I want to see with clear eyes
beyond lust and hate.
I want the war to be over,
and know the good guys won,
and I want love to hold me
to know I'm not alone.

Standing around a willow weeping,
we were praying in the backyard.
In the chill of the night
the friendship light reminded me who we are
...who we are, who we are

Will you hold the light?
Will you hold the light for me?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brennen Manning Quote

"The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust—not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

after an afternoon...

Is this not the most beautiful song? This guy, Casey Frazier is super talented, too. I saw him play at the Q-Cafe once and he played barefoot onstage, awesome.
He sounds just like Jason Mraz, too.

Oh, I could listen to it all day, and I have...Can someone please sing this to me?

deflated spirits and simple reminders

This week was full and crazy and fun and stressful. I was up in Seattle for a week of wedding celebration. After several days of events, reunions, the marriage of another best friend, back to back events, I’m in a state of melancholy, coming down off a full weekend. The whole week took a lot out of me and on Monday, I was running on fumes. Dealing with late ferries and rush hour traffic was enough to deflate my spirit. Getting lost on the way to the hospital to visit my grandma only deflated me more, so much so that in the sight of my family in the hospital, I burst into tears. I don’t burst into tears, ever really, but I did. It’s in those moments when I’m barely holding it together that the only thing I want is a hug, yet it’s also the last thing I want because it’s like opening a dam of tears and they just pour forth. I’m always torn between wanting a hug or someone to tell me a joke…

I was driving back to Portland yesterday, driving through the rain and clouds and sunshine. The weather has been a variety pack lately. I found myself all annoyed at having to adjust the windshield wiper every ten seconds or so. It’s sprinkling. No, it’s pouring. It’s steady. It stopped. No it didn’t, just kidding. I kept fighting for a happy medium, unable to find it. It stressed me out. I just wanted to leave it alone, but it kept changing. I hate change. How funny that change is the only constant... Our lives are always changing. With every change in weather or circumstance, we have to realign ourselves; attempt to find our equilibrium again. It’s a balancing act, trying to stay on our two feet and keep our heads above water. It’s exhausting to keep steady these days. Once the rain slowed, I saw a faint rainbow in the distance and was reminded of God’s promise that the earth and everything living on it would never again be destroyed by a flood. I loved that with a simple glance into the sky I could be reminded of God’s faithfulness. A symbol that we are loved.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jumbled thoughts on love

Forgive me if this doesn’t make the most sense. It’s been a while since I’ve written and I’m also coming off a crazy long day at the coffee shop, so this one could be a jambalaya of sorts. I’ve been thinking this afternoon about being known and loved. How everyone longs to love and be loved. How everyone IS loved but they don’t often know it or don’t believe it. How so many love those who don’t love them back. I find myself thinking about unrequited love pretty often actually. It’s heart-wrenching to think about, yet my thoughts wander that direction, drawn to those thoughts like a moth to the flame.

Wouldn’t love be so easy if everything was cut and dry? If we just made deals and kept them. If those we chose to love, chose to love us in return. If we promised to love and never leave and then kept those promises in the end. Remember how crushes and “dating” played out in elementary school? When we would send friends as messengers across the playground to test the waters of a new love interest and report back the likeliness that it would happen?

“Jill, would you go out with Ben if he asked you out?”

“…like, for sure.”

And just like that, with the assurance of a yes, Ben asks Jill to the movies. Now I reference this kind of deal-making in the times of elementary school, but really don’t we all want that same assurance currently? In college, out of college, as real life grown-ups, we all want the certainty of love and the complete absence of rejection. However, our world is far from perfect. Promises are broken. We have no absolute certainty that those who love us will continue to love us. We risk rejection everyday. Love is complicated. We hurt those that mean the world to us. We are hurt by those that mean the world to us. It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to love these days. We all want to be protected from sadness, sorrow and rejection. There’s this great quote from the excellent book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness”. If we constantly have our walls built high and our hearts on lock-down for fear or rejection, then yes, we are doing an amazing job of protecting ourselves from sadness. But we are also doing an amazing job of protecting ourselves from happiness that we could be experiencing if we let down our defenses and let ourselves be known.

This is scary, to be fully known. I think we all struggle with being known, at least I do. It’s a balance between wanting to be known AND loved and being known AND rejected. For someone to know everything about you and reject you is a real blow, enough of a blow to want to hide away one’s true self. To have the whole of you, your core rejected, that is crushing. It reminds me of a Pedro the Lion song, “If they really knew me, they would run.” We have a deep fear that if we are known, people will turn away...

I was just talking with someone today about how love is about really knowing someone. There is this cute couple that comes into the coffee shop and we had made a comment on Henry’s shirt the other day. He was wearing a shirt with rows of commas arranged in various positions in rows across and down with the heading of Comma Sutra above them. We thought it was hilarious and perfect since he’s an editor. We congratulated Gretchen on a perfect gift for him and she told us about his perfect gift to her, special edition Travel Scrabble. He knows she loves words and travel and games. She knows his sense of humor and love of punctuation. It was sweet really. No need for diamonds and flare. They are showing their love for each other and their knowing of each other. I just loved that. When we risk real love, we are inviting others to know us and love us despite rejection. And I pray that we would all have the courage to risk and to love fearlessly.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“Our day–to-day life is bombarded with fortuities or, to be more precise, with the accidental meetings of people and events we call coincidences. “Co-incidence” means that two events unexpectedly happen at the same time, they meet: Tomas appears in the hotel restaurant at the same time the radio is playing Beethoven. We do not even notice the great majority of such coincidences. If the seat Tomas occupied had been occupied instead by the local butcher, Tereza never would have noticed that the radio was playing Beethoven (though the meeting of Beethoven and the butcher would also have been an interesting coincidence). But her nascent love inflamed her sense of beauty, and she would never forget that music. Whenever she heard it, she would be touched. Everything going on around her at that moment would be haloed by the music and take on its beauty.”

I’ve been reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera and fell in love with this passage. It got me thinking about coincidences or serendipitous events in our lives, those that we notice and those that pass us by without a guise or rarity. I lack an eye for coincidence or fateful moments until after the fact. Maybe it’s growing knowledge and perspective allowing me to look back on events and point out particular fortuities previously unfolded in time. Kundera writes later, “It is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.” How true, if we had eyes to see each moment of serendipity, we would become more aware of the delicate weavings of our story and the stories of those around us. In those moments, each would find incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only

“But her nascent love inflamed her sense of beauty, and she would never forget that music. Whenever she heard it, she would be touched. Everything going on around her at that moment would be haloed by the music and take on its beauty.”

I loved this. As a bit of a music junkie, I am incredibly influenced by music and it’s a rarity to find me living in silence. It is the soundtrack to my life. I’ve always wanted to make playlists for a living and since that job isn’t so much knocking on my door, I volunteer my time making my own life playlists as well as the playlists for several friends. Mixed tapes and CDs were always my favorite gifts, with homemade cookies, too. I’m getting side-tracked here…I’m not entirely sure where I’m even going with this but I just know that I am highly influenced by music. Songs can take us back to a time and a place of joy or sorrow and I love its power to do that.

Whenever I hear, “sea breeze” by Tyrone Wells I immediately find myself back at the University of Washington on a sunny spring day, sitting at a table in the HUB completely unaware of everything going on around me and utterly mesmerized by his voice and melody. I skipped class that day to listen to him play. Whenever I hear that song, I find my insides fluttering just as they did years ago. In another moment, I recall standing with my sister-in-law Lisa, in the crowded Crocodile CafĂ© in Seattle listening to Rocky Votolato belt out “Montana” for the first time. Goose bumps greet my arms as I relive the moment. Every time I hear those songs, I experience the beauty of those moments, and that is such a cool thing.