How He Loves

Derek and Rachel led this song on Haiti weekend at church when I shared about my experience there. It just about knocked me over. I had heard it once before, but not like that.

Derek and Rachel led this song again this weekend. I stood in the crowd with tears streaming down my face- wishing I had a hanky and hoping no one would see me. I love the emotion in this song. I love the way the way the words are put together and how they make pictures in my mind… but mostly, really, this song speaks to my heart. It resonates.

Life is sloppy. It’s messy. I don’t understand it… and just when things seem really bad… just when you think your heart can’t break any more, when the breaks go out and the car won’t stop, when life spins out of control- that’s when God steps in. Like a hurricane. Like the ocean. Like Niagara Falls. And He meets you on a rock in Jenny Lake (pictured). He stops the car and sends help. He comes at just the right moment. And He does it because He loves me.

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize how beautiful you are
And how great your afflictions for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart burns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

John Mark McMillan

 

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"… That In me ye might have peace." John 16:33

there's blood on them there hills

I have been through the valley of weeping,
the valley of sorrow and pain;
but the God of all comfort was with me,
at hand to uphold and sustain.

As the earth needs the clouds and the sunshine,
our souls need both sorrow and joy;
so He places us oft in the furnace,
the dross from the gold to destroy.

So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
let the path be dreary or bright;
for we’ve proved that our God can give comfort,
our God can give songs in the night.

Capture My Heart Again

I used to write poetry. A lot of it. Most of it is pretty embarrassing, but some is decent… for a 16 year old.

On my Great American Road Trip God opened my eyes to the beauty in His creation. One night, at Castle Rock campground halfway between Yellowstone and Bozeman, Montana I sat in the back of my car watching the rain fall and contemplating God’s creation. I wrote a prayer like a poem thinking of the Psalms. I figured I would go back to it, refine it, and maybe post it somewhere. I didn’t.

Tonight in Bible study our lovely Erin opened us up in worship with the song Your Love is Extravagant. The Last line is Lord, capture my heart again.I was immediately taken back to that moment. Coming out of Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, thinking about the big Montana sky and the rafting trip to come. I washed my face in the river and chopped firewood with my hatchet (then it rained! Oh well.)… My heart was captive to the beauty and glory of the Lord.

I’m back in Livermore now. God’s love looks different here. It’s love and sparkles in a latte (really), it’s a snow cone, it’s being nice to the creepy guy, it’s girls Bible study, it’s Derek leading worship… and it seems… less captivating. Easier to ignore, though no less real.

***

My Psalm (as written in the car that night)

Praise the LORD for His creation!!!
Father, Maker, Creator, Abba, LORD over all, Almighty, LOVE!
Thank You for Your creation, for Earth.
I know it didn’t have to be this way,
But You delight in the beauty of the earth.
I can see now that all creation sings your praises.

Mountains point to You; they worship You in majesty.
Rivers bring life and sing your songs,
Waterfalls hint at Your power and rumble in praise.
Birds rejoice in songs,
Trees are sustained by You alone.

You are Life.
Thank You for sharing with me.

Teach me to love Your creation. To sing with the rivers and worship on mountians.

I love You, God. I love what You’ve made.
Thank you for finally giving me eyes to see!
May they never close again.

Amen.


Glacier National Park, Montana

Return to Me

Well. I am back in Livermore. 

I got home at 6:15 this morning (I wanted to be back for Dana’s birthday). People keep asking me how it feels to be back. I am not sure yet. I could have stayed on the road for months more, but the timing seems right for heading back. I hope I get more adventures soon. 
There are several adventures in Montana and beyond that I wanted to blog. You may or may not be seeing them here… but I think I will be starting on a book soon. I think this adventure/exodus/metamorphosis needs to be documented more thoroughly.
My computer says 12:32am. It’s my birthday. I am 26… single, homeless, unemployed, and don’t have my degree yet. sigh. I believe the Queen would say I am “footloose and fancy free”. Let’s hope there are more, greater adventures to come! Bangkok? India? Alaska? Yes, please.

Anatomy of Roadside Hygiene

Figure 1: Subject has not showered for six consecutive days.

God’s give to travelers? Wet wipes. The face kind. The key to not getting stinky lies with the face wipes… they clear you face, your feet, your pits. It’s glorious. 
Wearing makeup seems to be more hassle than it’s worth on the road. Opt for gigantic sunglasses instead. They cover half our face not only making you seem more mysterious, they cover the sleep dust in your eyes when you’re heading to the McDonald’s bathroom to get dressed. 
The second best thing next to wipes is dry shampoo. Normally, I use Psssssssst!, but Dalene got me some salon stuff for Christmas. It works great for days 2 through 4. After day for though, the grime is too much. A headband does wonders- it says to the world, “My hair is supposed to look like this, thankyouverymuch.” I have really embraced the headband on this trip for just that reason. (See above.)
Rivers are a great way to refresh your face and get your hair wet so it doesn’t stick up everywhere… but mind the freezing glacial rivers of the north. They will freeze your scalp and give you a headache!
When you get really desperate buy some cheap shampoo (if you don’t already use that crap)- it lathers really easily, then using a large jug of water (I used a gallon jug but didn’t empty it) wash your hair. It feels amazing. Especially after having dirty hair for 5 days. If you are really lucky, there is a bathroom nearby with hand dryers. Kneel under the dryer and use your fingers to rub your hair and dry it out. Be warned: this takes forever. It’s totally worth it though. 
Because I have been camping my nails got really dirty. I tried to clean them out with the pokey thing in the nail clippers, but nothing gets them clean like washing your hair in the shower… so I painted them. It worked great! Now I don’t feel like the dirty chick with the gross nails.
I was going to write this post like a textbook. Oh well.