Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Caught between like and Love

I'm tired... no... worn out... no... utterly exhausted.

I've only been teaching for 2 weeks and already this constant "on the go" position I've found myself in is catching up with me.

I go to bed ridiculously early.
I get up ridiculously early.

I stand in front of 107 8th graders on the south side of Des Moines all day, five days a week. I teach these 13 and 14 year olds Language Arts. They yell... I yell... they yell back... I give them detention.

My heart breaks for them.

So many come from broken homes and homes where their parents treat them like a disease... no encouragement, no support, nothing. I teach drug addicts... 8th grade drug addicts. I teach 8th graders who are sexually active, who are shoplifters, kids who are physically and verbally violent.
Today a student accused me of only picking on him. Another told me she liked my sweater. There was another that accused me of being unfair. And another wanted to know everything about my life.

Thank the Lord I love middle schoolers... otherwise I would have walked out on the very first day. South side Des Moines kids are no north shore Chicago kids...

But the only thing that I want teach these kids, I can't.

I live for Jesus. So when I can't talk about the the Love of my life, and tell about how He is the only One who brings restoration, it kills me.

Even though I'm exhausted, I'm enjoying teaching. I really am, but... I'm also discovering that being just a Language Arts classroom teacher is much harder for me then I thought it would be. Not "hard" as in "tiring hard", but "heart breaking hard". I can pray and pray and pray for my students one my own time and throughout my day, but so much more do I want to tell them about the Lord. I want to attempt to answer their questions, lay hands on them to pray, encourage them with the Word, and asked them what the Father has been teaching them.

I knew it would be hard for me to be in a classroom and not talk about my God, but I never knew that it would be this hard.

I graduate in May and I have to start making some decisions soon. Des Moines schools have already begun looking to fill teaching positions for the fall. Oi vey...

This summer I'll most likely be working for 3 months in my dream job (more on that later), but after that...?

So here I stand unsure of what to do. [Easily] get a teaching job doing something that I like for when I return to Des Moines? Or trust that come August I'll be able to [maybe] find a position doing this something that I love?

I surrender.

On another note, it's cool how the Lord gives us a word at the exact moment that we need to hear one. He spoke this today... "Looking back over the past few weeks, you can see that you have been in a spiritual maze that you've struggled to find your way through. I have brought you through and you will now be able to move forward in greater clarity and precision. Rejoice in this time, for you will experience heightened discernment and optimum efficiency."

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Perfect Storm

It's the year of perfection... well, at least that's what I keep hearing.

7 is the number of GOD. 7 is perfect. 2007 so far has been... perfect... but I can only say that because I am confident that the One in charge is allowing things to occur and working in ways that only He can see as perfection. I don't understand... nothing makes sense... He's doing things that I didn't plan...

Wake up call?

I can't help but think about the blog I wrote before this one ("Lack of..."). In no way will I be offended by the things my GOD has spoken into my life and into others. I can't be. It's interesting that He spoke that blog over me a week prior to some major changes and decisions in my life.

I've never really felt like I've started a new year off "new". My years have always blended together and nothing "new" has occurred except that on school assignments I would write say, "2006" instead of "2005"...

but 2007 is different. Way different.

2007 is new. I do feel as if I have started a new life. It's weird... scary... exciting... stressful... and glorious all at the same time.

I'm standing in the middle of a perfect storm.

(I'm simply not attending classes any longer, but rather, I'm teaching them...
This is only one example of this new life GOD has given me in 2007... in His perfection).

Perfection. I have a human definition of what it is, but I don't think I can actually comprehend what His perfection looks like. But... here I stand with new experiences, new opportunities, new relationships, and though I'm not always sure what my GOD is doing, I can be sure that I have fallen into His beautiful perfection.

I'm supposed to be here.

Quite honestly, from the worlds view in, I'm sure my life looks... less than perfect. But in actuality, my 2007 has begun perfectly. And the only reason for that is because I have found myself standing in the exact spot that my God wants me.

Now that's perfection.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lack of...

I got the most recent Justin McRoberts CD for Christmas. It’s called “Grace Must Wound Before it Heals”. Specifically track #2 caught my attention last night… throughout the entire song he repeats a line that began to pull heavily on my heart.

“… change the way you see…”

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I don’t understand GOD. I only think I do, but in reality, I don’t. The only god that I understand is the one that the world has invented. This god isn’t necessarily a bad god by any means, he’s just… unrealistic. This god is too simple. I sit in services sometimes and feel like I’m being taught about this god; not GOD. Not my GOD. Not our GOD. Not the GOD in the Bible, but only a fairytale god to make life seem easy and simple.

GOD isn’t simple, and being a Christian isn’t easy... a couple of years ago I heard a speaker say this:

“The Christian life isn’t hard… the Christian life isn’t even difficult… the Christian life is impossible. There’s only one guy who was perfect at it, and it isn’t you and it certainly isn’t me…”

If we are unable to live the Christian life, then how could we ever fully understand the One who invented it and lived it out perfectly?

I don’t understand GOD… only the god that my world has made up.

If I knew GOD, like actually knew and understood GOD, I know for a fact that my life wouldn’t look the way that it does.

If I was able to grasp the broken heart that GOD feels on a daily basis for His people, my life would be different.

If I was able to comprehend how much GOD Loves His children, I know that I would be living a different life.

I think in my 21 years of living, I’ve only experienced and known GOD’s heart for a total of [maybe] 85 minutes. Specifically during one of these ever so brief moments, I was taken into the depths of His heart. I could feel His sadness. I could feel His joy. During this time I… slightly… understood GOD’s broken heart and His Love.

Think about it… if we really knew the sadness that our Father feels for His people, would we really continue to sit around watching 24 or playing Xbox for hours on end? I think a lot of Christians talk the talk, but rarely ever walk the walk… myself included.

I know that in those brief moments that I knew GOD’s heart, all I wanted to do was serve Him and change the world… but the feeling faded. I still want to serve Him and change the world for Him, but sadly… I confess that it’s not the only thing that I want to do… I get caught up in worldly important things.

And then there’s love… GOD is Love, so it only makes sense that we don’t understand Love or GOD. Because the only love I understand is the love the world tells me about. If worldly love is GOD, then I don’t want it.

But thankfully love and Love are completely different.

If I understood what real Love is, then my life would be different. I know that I wouldn’t be selfish… GOD isn’t selfish because GOD is Love. I know that I wouldn’t be rude… I wouldn’t be impatient… I wouldn’t be jealous… I wouldn’t be envious.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to love, because as humans we do have the ability to love, yet it’s skewed. We can love, but we can’t Love. We cannot Love like GOD Loves because GOD is Love and we are not GOD. But even knowing that I don’t have the ability to Love like GOD Loves, so much do I desire to, and so much do I strive towards knowing that kind of Love.

I want my desire to know and understand true Love, to be so significant that my entire life changes.

I want another moment of slightly understanding GOD’s broken heart, but this time, that the affect of this moment hits me so hard that my entire life changes.

People say that love isn’t perfect, and you know what? They’re right… love isn’t perfect. But Love is perfect. GOD is Love and GOD is perfect. You do the math…

So do you understand GOD? Because I don’t…

We don’t serve a simple GOD… our GOD is too big… and too Great… and too Mighty for us to fully understand. Our human minds cannot grasp His Goodness, thus concluding that we cannot grasp Him.

“…change the way you see…”

If we understand God, we would live differently. We would never be offended by the things that He does.

If GOD asked you to quit your job in order to take a position working with the homeless, making a significantly less amount of money, without explanation, would you be offended that He would ask you to do such a thing?

Would you be offended if GOD asked you to break off a relationship, romantic or friendship, without explanation?

If GOD asked you to stop serving in a specific ministry position without giving you a significant reason, would you be offended?

If we understood GOD, we wouldn’t be.

But if we are offended… who are we serving?

Shouldn’t we believe and trust that all things our GOD calls us to do will ultimately serve His Kingdom and bring Him glory, even if we can’t see that at first? Do we really think that our GOD would call us to do something that would destroy us?

Maybe this distrust and disbelief in being taken care of comes from our understanding of love – the definition of love the world gives.

But Love… if we knew this Love, truly knew it, I guarantee that we would never be offended.

GOD isn’t simple… because if He was, we’d probably have this Christian thing down…

But we don’t.

I want my eyes to change.
I want to know brokenness.
I want to know Love.
I want to know GOD.

“There’s something bigger going on, there’s Someone bigger then me… so fill me with the knowledge of GOD, with the knowledge of You, with the knowledge of the Holy, Holy.”

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I think grocery shopping is overwhelming and time consuming.
I get giddy when I think about starting my first day of school.
I like to lite incense and lay in my bed after a l o n g day.
I'm only 5'3" and need help reaching high up places.
My heart bre aks when I hear someone talk about depression and suicide.
I have a love/hate relationship with the ocean.
I have fun when I hang out with junior high kids.
I desire to be the woman in Proverbs 31.
I like my cinnamon rolls without cinnamon.
I'm a horrible runner, but I could swim laps for hours.
I sometimes get scared of the dark.
When I'm sick I want to be taken care of.
My eyes are sensitive to light.
I like sarcasm and I like sarcastic people.
I can't roll my tongue or wiggle my ears.
I enjoy having a Long Island or Margarita every once in a while.
I find great joy in prayer and intercession.
My love languages are quality time and physical touch.
I'd rather have a few close friends rather than a vast amount that I don't know well.
I have a silent laugh when I laugh really hard.
I love sushi, but I've never been to Japan.
I enjoying running stairs when I work out.
I get excited when someone teaches me something [new] that they love.
I am no longer walking in darkness, but in Light.

What makes your heart beat?

What makes your heart bre ak?

What are you made up of?

Our GOD is a creative GOD. No one is exactly the same. You have brown hair because GOD said that you would have brown hair. You can dunk a ball because the LORD said that you would have that ability. You understand theology because GOD said that you would have that knowledge.

You are made up of ingredients from GOD; that has produced you.

You are not a mistake.
You were deeply thought about by your Creator.
You are not a mistake.
You were highlighted as important while being put together.
You are not a mistake.
You are being thought of non-stop by Him.
You are not a mistake.

So again I ask... what makes your heart beat? What makes your heart break? What are you made up of?

You have a niche... what is it?

GOD has breathed onto you... what has it produced?

Amongst the brokenness we feel and see, there is beauty.