Friday, January 2, 2009

abounding abundance

If I could title 2006, I would call it "Preparation," the year that God prepared my heart for what lies ahead. The year He taught me how to be a leader, gave me vision for my future in working with people with disabilities, and the year He showed my friend Omar and I what He created us to be, husband and wife.

2007 would be, "Transformation," the year that everything that I ever knew about my life was completely transformed. God reshaped my heart, my friendships, my family, my home, my school, my work, my church, everything. By July of 2007, everything I had ever known was changed into something knew and unfamiliar, and it was an adventure and a half.

I would call 2008, "The Sacred But Insane Year of Transition," the year that demonstrated how challenging it is to be in between, contradictory. I wandered into depression, and was rescued from it (see, I struggled with being a wife and a woman, learning how to love unconditionally and wondering what God has planned for all of the components of my dreams which were quickly evolving and always changing. I have cried at the funeral of one of the most significant people in my life, and I have marveled at Omar's success as a musician. I have been blessed by friends who have stood by my side and have not allowed the new logistics of my life to change our friendships. I have felt complete despair and overwhelming gratitude. I have lost and found hope, and have struggled with my faith more than ever. But, I have made it through smiling.

I pray that 2009 will be the year of "Growth, Expectation, and Revelation," a year that is abundant in authentic relationships, healing, and growing so close to God that I am completely taken by his love and mercy and eager to listen to His spirit. I hope specifically that I finish school with a profound knowledge of how to serve people with disabilities, friendships, and a clear vision of what God wants me to do with my degree. I pray that Omar will develop his gifts, be freed from his inhibitions and anything that is holding him back, and that he will find a sense of self that comes from God, and that by this time next year God will began to shape his heart to become a dad (theres your answer, people, were hoping to have babies sometime in late 2010, but we know that humans dont come into the world on our time so- whatev). I hope that the people I love will discover fullness of life, and that God will use our relationships to draw us closer to him. Actually, I pray that God would allow us to completely change the world, and that this time next year our lives will be nothing like what we expected but so filled with hope and joy and love and laughter that we will constantly look around and wonder how we've been so blessed. Mostly I hope that we will learn to be alive. Abounding in abundant life.

I think were off to a good start.

Monday, December 29, 2008

the journey home

i want a Nikon camera, a little girl named Grace, some hot chocolate, flaming hot funyuns, snow, forest animals that help me clean my house, new acrylic paints, patience, for my deodorant not to smell like it was used my a certain latin man that lives in my house, a new home for kitty, some rocky road ice cream, and to sleep tonight without having dreams of my friends being pregnant.

but most of all, i want you, Lord, in all of your godly, unconditional glory. i want your love to turn me inside out and shake me up a little bit, okay, alot, and i want to be carried by you through the valleys and up the sides of the mountains. i want to dance with you barefooted on the mountaintops in the midst of the clouds and the dandelions and i want you tell me that its okay to be afraid, not of you, but of everyone else. i want to ask you a million questions without answers and i want you to kiss me on the forehead. i want to worship you with my hands in the air and my knees in the red dirt of morrocco, knowing that you find my childish visions of heaven endearing and not ridiculous because
i am your child
and you are my father, and as many times as i fail you and fail myself and fail others you clean me up and pick me back up and carry me home. thank you for resurrecting me and restoring me and showing me that there is hope and healing and redemption that can only be found in your love.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

growing down

i am sitting in my kitchen eating Jesus' birthday cake which is three days old and probably the best cake ive ever had. cake and milk is still a good snack, even when youre not six.

and on that note, im officially convinced that i grew up too fast. the girl who was named "most likely to never grow up," i am always, always, a contradiction. a cigar-smokin (well, once) bible readin spaghettios eatin 21 year old bride, who has never made any sense. i think ive found my identity in this. this, and the many years ive spent building all of this up.
living, and being quite reckless with other peoples hearts, while carefully guarding my own. sometimes i feel cheated by my choices, because i dont have stories of late night clubbing or drunken bar hopping. i dont own stilletos and ive never smoked a cigarette or tasted whiskey.
the closest memories i have resembling all of that are made up of running through war-torn spanish cities late at night in my underwear with people whos names i dont remember, walking five miles barefoot to see the eiffel tower, sleeping in airports and traveling the australian coast with one of the kindest strangers ive ever known. ive had my motives questions and have spent many a night explaining to people why my choices are not the most ridiculous and naive thing theyve ever heard. ive lied and prayed my way out of situations that had no way out. one time, i didnt shower for more than a week. i lived on a whim, and prayed that i wasnt killing myself in the process, experiencing in two years what takes most people late into their twenties to accomplish.

and then he showed up.

the man who would one day tame my wild heart, the person who i sometimes resentfully, but mostly affectionately, refer to as my anchor. the one who loved me without knowing me, but had a burning question on his heart, "is this what life with you is like?"
and how do you respond to that, knowing that he is the greatest gift that God has given you in this life, but wanting him to know all of you, to know what he was getting himself into?
"this is what life with me is like right now. im all over the place. but when im 25 ill have a steady job and a family. and when im 45 ill enjoy baking and traveling all over the world with you, or not, its your call. and when im 75 you and i will sit on rocking chairs on our porch and talk about the sky or the weather and the wonderful things that weve experienced together. but for now? this is what life with me is like."

and now, it is more like being 23 and staying at home studying the IEP process in special education with the faint sounds of my husbands voice echoing from his recording studio, trying to get from 20 to 25, wondering whether this transition is even possible... but it has to be, because people somehow make it through this awkward place of being a kid and being a wife.

i was standing in line at a store the other day when a middle-aged hispanic man standing behind me in a cowboy hat tried to stike up a conversation about second-hand furniture and politicians from illinois. i brought up my political science major husband, and was quickly interrupted by the statement that i've heard at least 342342374982375 times,
"YOURE MARRIED??? but youre so young!"
and then,
"How old are you? I can tell you your future right now." (smirk, smirk)

being married is, by far, the hardest thing i've ever done, it has stretched me and made me feel like im in over my head many times, i've decided over and over again that i grew up too fast and i am unprepared for all of this. married women envy single women and single women envy marrried women, and i am 23 and dont even consider myself a woman yet and i envy everyone, including myself, which should be added to my list of resolutions.

but as long as im unprepared and in over my head and growing up too fast with him, ill be okay. because what ive discovered in the last few weeks is that nobody has any idea how to do this, this human thing, and even fewer people know how to be under thirty and married (or under 120 and married), so ive realized ive either got to own it or abandon it, and abandon is not an option.