God

Prayer for Love

A prayer for love and seeing. Of black cats and clean forks. A life full of Body full of Soul.
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Take a moment to notice your surroundings. Relax your jaw and your tongue. Feel the earth support your weight. Feel God support your spirit. 
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God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can be aware of the table and my coffee. I can feel the air moving in and out to my nose. There is a chair beneath me and a black cat walking back and forth around us all. My fingers still feel wet from washing breakfast dishes. 
I can choose to be aware of sensations. And in the choosing they are either a nuisance or a wonder. 
I can choose to be aware of You, too: The I Am, The Presence.  The One who is always here. I can choose to feel you in the air and in my bones. 
God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can choose to see you as separate from me. In this way, you are here and yet different from the “Me” I know. You are a loving relationship that requires space between us.  I pray and you come. I request and you give.
I can also choose to see you as essentially IN me. In this way, you are here as surely as I am here. You are a loving Presence in my cells that requires the connection with my own mind. Here, to love myself is to be loved by you. Here, to accept the body I am in, is to accept that this body is Us. Here, to pray for peace […]

God is here

God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can be aware of the table and my coffee. I can feel the air moving in and out to my nose. There is a chair beneath me and a black cat walking back and forth around it all.
I can choose to be aware of You, too: The I Am, The Presence. The One who is always here. I can choose to feel you in that air and in my bones.
God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can choose to see you as separate from me. In this way, you are here and yet different from the Me I consciously know. You are a loving relationship that requires space between us. I pray and you come. I request and you give.
I can also choose to see you as essentially in me. In this way, you are here as surely as I am here. You are a loving Presence in my cells that requires a connection with my own mind and body. Here, to love myself is to be loved by you. Here, to accept the body I am in, is to accept that this body is Us. Here, to pray for peace is to know that the peace is here waiting to be accepted already in my guts. To ask you to be with me would be like asking myself to go hang out sometime.
You are here. You are more here in and with me and available to me than my own thoughts and emotions and needs. You are the beautiful, quiet option that I don’t always know […]

Never Been Kissed

Advent. We wait. We wait for God to come down here and be with us. Just hurry up and be with us.
Yesterday, I felt it, that dull discomfort of waiting for things to be RIGHT – To feel God with me and to feel Him making all things comes together for Good.  I wanted it, bad.  
This incredible waiting that is called LIFE drives some of us mad.  We get short burst of fun, joy, beauty, and meaning and then we wait again. This incredible waiting, like watching intermittent shooting stars when what we really need is dawn.
We wait for heaven and the Light of the World to come.  Heaven will not just be for our souls. Heaven involves our bodies too.  This is the gift of making love.  
God, your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven – not just in our hearts but in our bodies too.
In honor of Advent and Love and Making It coming together this week, today we have the gift of reading a personal essay from a woman who has never been kissed and is beginning to let herself feel the desire and hope of what will come someday.  May all our waiting and longing be this vulnerable and brave.
-Nicole
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I dreamed a few months ago that I had my first kiss.
Yes, I’m 25 and I’ve never been kissed – or even been on an official date. I was a little too “mature” (and obnoxious) in high school to stoop to “chasing boys,” and I was a little too driven in college to take time out for life. Which is strange, really. I’ve always wanted the support of a relationship and the chance to build a life with […]

Advent Stories: Hookers, Heathens, and Me

One week til Christmas. One week til we celebrate God being with us.  
For some people, their lives are so full of family and friends, hot chocolate and Christmas Lights, that the darkness is just a shadow in the corner or a fading streetlight down the road.  For others, this is a time where the darkness threatens to swallow them whole.
Light flaunts its warm power in the life of one and barely flicks the skin of another covered instead in cold, dark loneliness. 
Advent is the waiting. The waiting 100s of years for God to come and make things right. Waiting generations for triumph and light and love to flood the world.  Waiting for God to be with us – really with us. We need God with us.  God, who says He is Light and Love, and yet seems to leave us lonely and scared in dark places. 
God, are you avoiding me?
    Where are you when I need you? Psalm 10:1-2
 
Advent is the waiting. We have no choice. Reminded of our powerlessness against the speed of time, we wait.  We cannot save ourselves or our friends from the pain of waiting on God to BE WITH US. 
With Christmas comes the promise of a future where we are whole and full. Christmas is the promise that while the pain is still here, God is doing a new thing. He came down to sit in the dark with us.  
And this is what He also asked us to do for each other too. While we wait, we wait together.  I will wait with you. 
The light breaks through dark’s hard shell at the exact points we meet each other.  At the loving touch of a friend, a spark […]

When We Were On Fire

If you’ve read this blog since it’s inception, you know I am a woman of open and hopeful and thrashing faith. I believe in a big God who loves each individual… but that belief is a wrestling I do fresh every day. Like Jacob in Genesis, I wrestle and prevail, and like Jacob, I am constantly finding God in new places – finding Him Even Here.  I met Jesus by name in a youth group when I was 14.  This entry is a poetic remembering of that time as part of Addie Zierman’s synchroblog in honor of her beautiful new book:
When We Were On Fire.
 
We ran through fields and over chain-linked fences to escape the hands of the enemy, in practice for the rapture. Dropped off in the middle of the hills and left to find our way back to the school auditorium, we feared Jesus would someday leave us behind because we didn’t truly believe.
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We sang at the top of our lungs with Joel Weldon at Hume Lake. We sang of love and hope and a Jesus who was everything. We knelt and sang quietly, trying to find the perfect pitch so Jesus would know we were worth loving… and so the boys next to us would too.
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We piled in vans and went to outdoor festivals to rock for God. When we were on fire, we could do anything for God! We moshed for God. We bought tshirts for God. We floated on crowds who lifted us up on their hands – 1000s of hands lifting us up so we could be closer to God, voices of love and cheering and camaraderie.
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We held hands and vowed to give our very bodies to God […]

Definitions

What is that called? What is that for?
It’s a fork and we use it to eat.
How do you know that?

We accept a lot of definitions, but how do we  know for sure? What we believe defines how we will act and behave and LIVE.  I’m using “FORK” as an example…
I know it’s a fork because someone told me. Our parents and our parents’ parents all agreed on this word and this function. This is cultural knowledge passed down without question: It’s a fork and we use it to eat.  
 
Have you seen the The Little Mermaid. My sister and I loved that movie growing up.  I can sing it by heart. It’s where my weird fork example comes from. 
Do you remember the scene about the fork?
Ariel, the mermaid, is told by a friend that a fork is called a “dinglehopper” and it’s used to comb hair.  Ariel believes this friend knows how the world works and trusts his definition.  If you say it’s a dinglehopper and everyone uses it to comb hair, awesome! Combing away… 
But, see, it’s a funny scene to us because we know the truth. We KNOW that’s NOT how you use that. That’s NOT what that’s for! That’s a fork! That’s hilarious! Crazy mermaid!
But she doesn’t know. She only knows what she’s been taught to believe. This is a dinglehopper… this is what that’s for… combing away…
She had misinformation.
 
My cousin babysat my toddler girl and taught her a fabulous new “rule” about life, “If you want to get something from your mom, just use the magic word! It’s the best way to have mommy get you what you want.  And the magic word is – “NOW”.
‘Mommy, ice water, Now!’ […]

1000 Strands

 

“…what we must do now is share everything. Everything! If one of us likes anything, there must be something to like in it – and the other one must find it. Every single thing that either of us likes. That way we shall create a thousand strands, great and small, that will link us together… And our trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty but on the fact of a thousand sharings – a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.”

– A Severe Mercy
A thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.  Unbreakable.  I want to have unbreakable relationships.  I want to have the things I care about matter to someone else too.  Life can be made of unbreakable stuff when we tie ourselves, knot ourselves, anchor ourselves to the eternal God who made us and is here already making everything new and unbreakable.

 

Have you ever read something in a book or article and it just hit you hard? You laughed til you cried. You just cried. You spoke out loud back to the book, “Holy @*#! I’d never thought of that!”  Your soul moved a few inches … permanently.

Whatever it was, it mattered to you in your core, and you just HAD to share it with someone. When a friend matches your enthusiasm… that’s bliss.

Each of these little encounters changes us.  This is chemistry.  Falling in love.  Making a friend. Bonding.
“The actual thing – inloveness – requires something like a spark leaping back and forth from one to the other becoming more intense every moment, love building up like voltage in a coil.”
-A Severe Mercy
Love requires sharing. Mutual sharing. This is a core truth of life. In this place I […]