mercies in disguise.

All the while, you hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

this side.

I've spent a large part of my life desperately trying to control as much as I could. Even though I realized when I was young that I couldn't, that despite our best attempts there is still pain and people still die, I still tried. I expected life to turn out the way I wanted it to.

One day you'll see her and you'll know what I mean.
Take her or leave her she will still be the same.
She'll not try to buy you with her time.
But nothing's the same, as you will see when she's gone.

It's foreign on this side,
And I'll not leave my home again.
There's no place to hide
And I'm nothing but scared.

But life doesn't work that way, and I could only pretend for so long. I was afraid of the things that I didn't understand and couldn't control. What's more, I saw so many people around me who didn't seem to be paralyzed by fear, by change.

You dream of colors that have never been made,
You imagine songs that have never been played.
They will try to buy you and your mind.
Only the curious have something to find.

It's foreign on this side,
And the truth is a bitter friend.
But reasons few have I to go back again.

Thankfully, God loved me too much to let me hide behind my fear. The process of risking, of trying, or daring to believe there is something more and better isn't an easy one. Its painful, and there's no instruction manual or well-laid-out and clear path to take. But to my surprise, this flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing? Its not comfortable, but its right. Every part of me resonates that this is the way God meant for us to live - not knowing the end, but trusting him with the next step.

Your first dawn blinded you, left you cursing the day.
Entrance is crucial and it's not without pain.
There's no path to follow, once you're here.
You'll climb up the slide and then you'll slide down the stairs.

It's foreign on this side,
But it feels like I'm home again.
There's no place to hide
But I don't think I'm scared.

That's why this song is the inspiration for my blog, because I'm not following the path that I intended, but I love it just the same.

on lent, and sacrifice.

I'm giving up TV for lent.

Actually I'm giving it up for good, just starting with Lent, but more on that in a minute.

I've done this before, for a limited time. It shouldn't be that big a deal, but it is. It's so much a habit that it's taking a lot of intention to follow through, especially now that I'm home (I was out of town all last week).

I realize that to some people this might seem a radical and unnecessary step. But I've been feeling convicted for quite a while about the sheer volume of hours that I spend watching TV shows (mostly online), and, more importantly, the things that I miss out on while I'm glued to my computer - opportunities to connect with people and love on them, work and projects that I want to complete that I think are meaningful, and sleep I'm not getting. Watching TV isn't something that I do well in moderation - so better to cut it out completely.

But the real conviction came when I read this post:

"We are commanded by God in the Scriptures that, when we hear His voice to not harden our hearts.

How do we harden our hearts? Simple…by KNOWING what God’s Word clearly says about something but refusing to obey because doing so might seriously interfere with the lifestyle that we are wanting to pursue...

My question is this…is there anything in your life that God seems to be relentless in coming after?

If so…are you repenting or defending? Because, when you defend what you are doing in the face of a Holy and awesome God who wants nothing but the best for you…then you are actively hardening your heart. AND…one day…you might not even be able to hear His voice anymore if you don’t deal with what He’s dealing with!"

To think that some day I might not be able to hear his voice, because I'm refusing to be obedient in what he's asking of me, even in this small thing...that scares me. And that's why I'm giving up TV.

Just to be clear - I don't necessarily think that everyone who claims to follow Christ should give up TV altogether. Sometimes, obedience looks one way for one person, and different for another.

flying by the seat of my pants.

I'm a planner and a list-maker. Call it the result of being first-born, or a God-given personality trait, but this is the way my brain works. I often say, "this is my plan."

I'm not saying that anymore.

When someone asks me where I'll be in five years, or ten, or twenty - I don't have answer for them. Sometimes I'm not even sure where I'll be in six months. Because most of the time when I make a plan, especially a long-term one, God seems to send me in unexpected directions.

Thankfully, I'm learning to hold my plans more and more loosely, so those unexpected twists and turns feel more like a white-water adventure than a roller coaster I don't remember getting on.

This flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants? Its sometimes thrilling, sometimes terrifying, often overwhelming.

But I'm loving every minute.

the chasing song.

Well, I realize that falling down ain't graceful
But I thank the Lord that falling's full of grace
Sometimes I take my eyes off Jesus
And you know that's all it takes

~ The Chasing Song, Andrew Peterson

it starts with one.

This is just one of the thoughts that keeps running through my head since I got back from the Idea Camp on Orphan Care: It starts with one.

One action. One small step of obedience. Even large acts of giving and sacrifice, the ones that make us think, "I could never do that," started with one small yes.

This is at once both comforting and scary. Comforting because the one small step doesn't seem as hard. Scary because I've seen evidence of what those small steps can lead to.

So, here's my one small step: I contacted someone about becoming a respite foster parent.

What's yours?