Wednesday, March 30, 2011

life is beautiful

life really is so beautiful... one of my all-time favorite european dramas sweeps powerful scenes through my mind as i reflect on the staggering beauty of my life and how i have become so subtly awakened to entirely new meanings of love, devotion, courage, humility, and sacrifice over the past six months of being newly married. in this new season i have learned how to embrace God's gifts of inner peace and immeasurable joy all the while being taught (and disciplined) to discard my foolish fantasies, smooth-talking selfishness and raging pride. (i ALWAYS think i'm right, and when proven otherwise, i dismiss the subject as if it didn't have any significance or meaning to me at all, ha!). there have been countless times (and curtis can testify) where i have let the tiniest fears and insecurities turn into roaring tigers in my mind and have allowed only a few tears of sadness or disappointment spill into a tidal wave of emotions and multiple freak-out sessions. i have manipulated, schemed, and blatantly lied to achieve my own way. i have failed miserably at 'balancing' relationships, work, health and spiritual wellness. i have binged on ice cream and chocolates and then ran miles in the dead of wintery nights to clear my guilt and sweat off my shame. what kind of person am i? left to myself, i would soon be destroyed! i am utterly convinced there is no possible ounce of reason as to why i have been given such a glorious existence when i have done so much evil and refused to do so much good. and the real question... the one that is rarely ever asked in truth: who would ever love someone like me? if they really knew me?

"I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different." Romans 7:18-25

"Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

...So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master. 
Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don't take advantage of them." Colossians 3:3-4, 12-19

hmm... beautiful. thank you Jesus for living your life in me. thank you curtis for living this life with me! and thanks to all my life's witnesses who know me and still love me. my heart aches to love you more!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Europe... one week from today!

          Bobby & Michaela    Curtis & Annie

alone at night

i don't like to be alone at night. especially at this time. i feel a world away from normalcy, company, activity. the hours toy with my brain and body, making me awkwardly unproductive in thought or action. even when we're together in the dark, awake while the world sleeps, life just doesn't happen like it would if we were buzzing around with all the other awkwardly unproductive people within our view. opportunity seems limited to our television, refrigerator, internet and 24-hour Wal-Mart. we get up from the couch, open the fridge, walk to the computer and back to the couch, around and around, back and forth, all the while dreaming of days when the we will rise with the sun and live in the light it brings... yet in this season, when the stars are out-shined by the parking lot lights outside our window, opportunity is still present and new and waiting to be held. i've learned to cook, crochet, and scrapbook. curtis discovers something new every 5 minutes either from the history channel or global news. i do the laundry, he does the dishes. we make smoothies and take naps around 3am. i'll do yoga at sunrise and he'll get in a good laugh watching best-of-youtube. it's a simple, sometimes lonely, but mostly lovely little life. he'll be home in a couple of hours and i'll make breakfast and we'll go to bed with the blinds and curtains closed. someday or some night, things will change. and i will be as happy then as i am now: alone, warm in my sweats and wool socks, listening to pandora play praises to my Maker who is LORD of the night as well as the day. as the psalmist says, "whenever i awake, i am still with you." with you. light and peace and love, with you.