another world?

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"our wildest dreams aren't half wild enough..."

Notice how many places in the accounts of Jesus’ life he gets frustrated with his disciples. Because they are incapable?” No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short, it provokes him to no end. It isn’t their failure that’s the problem; it’s their greatness. They don’t realize what they are capable of.
-Rob Bell, “Velvet Elvis”-

it’s true, you know?

It really is. How frustrating it must be to be the creator, the sole designer of a species that has barely even scraped away the surface of their potential?

we are a people designed for great things.
We were not designed to live small, insignificant lives.
But rather,
We were designed to live lives that matter.

Lives well lived.
Lives lived big.
Lives lived in the acknowledgement of the crazy, beautiful, mad scientist that created them.

It’s not that we live our lives too loud, but rather that we tiptoe around them.

Dream wilder.
Live louder.
Pray crazier.

My friend Amanda said this in her blog, Zecer:

“Our wildest dreams aren’t half wild enough"

"except you ravish me"

"Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me."
-John Donne

in light of recent conversations...

recently i've seen a few people from my past and it's left me with some decisions.

namely one. i have no time for bitterness, anger, or cruelty. there is too much of that in the world already. there is too much brokenness. hate. racism. hopelessness. apathy. sexism. suffering. ignorance. there is already all too much of that on this small little planet.

i want to be around people that make me want to wake up and choose good things. like life. hope. abundance. joy. selflessness. humility. servantship. growth. beauty. love. Jesus. i want to surround myself with beautiful people who reach deep down into my soul, and find the best in me. i want to have relationships with people who love and know God. who want more than just an "ok" life. more than just alright.

now don't get me wrong here. i'm not saying that i'm afraid to stand up for what i believe. or that i don't get angry at things like genocide, poverty, child abuse, abortion, or war. these are things worth being angry about. these are things worth taking a stand on.

choose your battles friends.
choose them wisely.

why dwell on the negative comments of bitter people?

life has so much more to offer you than this.

fight for the things that truly matter, and let the rest go.

when did salvation get an army?

a man at salvation army was really nice to me today.

he asked me how my day was going.
he helped me find a weird skirt that i turned into a cute dress.
he told me that hope students get 10% off.
he told me that skirts were on sale.

what a nice man.

best salvation army day EVER.

i got four things:

1. ugly skirt turned cute dress
2. a slip for the skirt
3. a beautiful brown cardigan sweater
4. a cute striped tee from JCrew

like i said. best day EVER.

"friend. i would take a bullet for you"

"'Cause I would take a bullet for you
I would take a bullet for you
I would cross any line, I'd swim across the sea
I would take a bullet for you
I would take a bullet for you
I would lose it all, I'd take my fall
To show you it's for real"

"i want to get home every night and be exhausted..."

i truly love living.

is that so strange?

i really do.

i love it. i love it. i love it.

i like waking up in the morning and breathing deeply.
i like stretching and yawning loudly.
i like working outside in the harsh summer sun.
i like arizona tea.
i like good friends.
i like the community table at LJ's.
i like sketching and painting.
i like the water. the waves. the lake.
i like hookah on the beach.
i like rebellious drives in my little red station wagon.
i like to ride my bicycle.
i like running until i cannot go any farther, then turning around and running home.
i like the way my skin turns bronze.
i like dinners on tuesday nights.
i like silly music.
i like writing music.
i like playing music.
i like music.
i like my camera.
i like that circuit city has good warranty protection plans so i can fix my camera.
i like indecisive frattes.
i like mind, body and soul coffee.
i like lovecake.
i like miss ally jester.
i like my dress, that may actually be a shirt, but i don't care.
i like friday dinners with my parents.
i like call my brother and talking with him.
i like dreaming big.
i like good talks.
i like deep conversations.
i like sarcasm.
i like surprises. (especially ones that look like little red station wagons)
i like silly dancing with house mates.
i like living on my own.
i like thinking about serious decisions.
i like making big changes.
i like knowing who i am.
i like knowing that i am enough.
i like friends who aren't afraid to tell me to stop being a jerk.
i like puppies.
i really like puppies.
i want a puppy.
i like the pitbull puppies that are all over our neighborhood.
i like my grandparents.
i like teasing my g-pa on the phone.
i like my aunt marjie. she's the best.
i like teaching sailing.
i like nannying.
i like middle schoolers.
i like my new hat.
i like jesus sandals.
i like misty edwards.
i like mate tea.
i like life.

i really do.
i really. really. really. really. like life.

it's so. so, good,

and i want to live it out. i want to run and dance and skip and jump. i want to run and roll down hills like trees. i want to see the world and meet people and talk to them and soak up everything i possibly can. i want to get home every night and be exhausted, because i truly lived out every moment i could.

let's live friend.
let's breathe deep.

let's set this world on fire.

"hello goodbye?"

tonight on my way to the coffee shop, "lemonjellos", where I am sitting right now, i passed a lady on the stairs of my apartment. she said, "hello" and asked how i was. i replied, "good."

now here's the strange part.

after i said, "good", she said, "good thanks."

the unusual part of this conversation wasn't that she was good, but that i had never asked her how she was. i never said, "and how are you?" she just assumed that i would ask. interesting isn't it? and i don't that she even realized what she had said. i think she was just on auto pilot.

isn't it strange? how easily we walk through life without even noticing things or truly interacting? our questions and responses are simply dictated by the norms of society. we don't think about our words until they are flying, hurdling, tumbling out of our mouths with no chance of ever catching them again. our tongues have been set loose without restraint. we speak. we scream. we declare. we proclaim. we whisper. but we never think. how strange. we have lost the ability to think. or maybe not so much the ability to think, but rather to prioritize. we have placed speaking in front of intelligent thought.

i hope i'm not just hurdling through this life on autopilot. i hope i'm looking around. i hope i'm making real friendships and real relationships with real conversations. i hope i'm living my life in a way that acknowledges that i'm alive. i hope that i'm living in a way that shows real love. real faith. real christianity. a real God.

oh i hope and pray so.
"good things are happening in the world today"
-iron & wine

"The opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."
-Elie Wiesel

maybe that's what it comes down to. our own indifference. do we care enough about living, to be alive? it's not hate, ugliness, heresy, or even death that eats. But our own indifference. We are self-destructing vehicles. We are kamikaze planes and we don't care. Aren't we rebellious and unlike our parents? Aren't we cool? Aren't we tough? Aren't we independent?

Is that what all this rebellious attitude we hold is? We are too cool to deal with our problems? I hope not. Oh I hope and pray that it isn't the case.

I want to love endlessly.
I want to make beautiful art.
I want a faith with deep roots.
I want to truly live.

do you want that friend? or do you just not care anymore?

"its yours baby..."

my parents never cease to amaze me.

so. get this.

friday. mom calls. "hunny, why don't you meet me at the marina and help me unpack for the weekend and then your father and i want to take you out for dinner...." So I'm like, strange, you're pretty capable, but I love you (and the promised free meal is an excellent inncentive), so,..."I'll see you at 4:00. "So mom swings by the Loft to pick me up.

***TIME OUT***
Important detail #1.
If you don't know, I don't have a car, haven't had a car for almost 6 months now. "Sticky-stick", the manual transmission, 5 speed, 1991 Mazda 626 finally passed on this winter. (May sticky-stick rest in peace).

Important detail #2.
I sold my explorer. My parents were going to take the money, buy a new trany for Sticky-stick, and ship her back to the coast for me. That was supposed to happen......about 2 months ago.

Important detail #3.
I have 2 jobs. This is good. I have a bike. This is good. Except the occasional inconvenience of riding my bike in the rain and or thunder storm, hailstorm, lightening storm, tornado, or hurricanes that have taken to afflicting the greater west michigan area. And Oh, Yeah, did I mention its a mountain bike? Not exactly the most user friendly bike during the 7-mile-each-way-ride-to-work.

(alright, continue...)

So mom and I go to the marina. I grab the cart, load up the bags, and trek out onto the dock. I take the bags, place them on the boat, put the cooler on the dock. Make an Ice run to the ship's store. Ice is $2.00 this year. What a joke! $2.00 for frozen water! Mom says she wants to buy an ice maker and put it in the gazebo, but maybe the marina wouldn't be too crazy about that...

So we get unpacked. Mom talks to dad. He says he's still an hour or so out. I'm hungry. Mom is hungry. We grumble about being hungry. We get done grumbling about our bellies, and grab some chairs and my laptop. We sit on the end of the concrete docks, on the corner where everyone beaches their inflatables. We check the weather, I show mom some of my drawings, we talk about our weeks, about the weather. We get back around to grumbling about our stomachs again. I say I'm going to the boat to nap or read or something. Mom says, "Grab the keys off the boat, and get my camera out of the van. Go take some pictures of the clouds." I'm mutter, "fine," under my breath and march off to the boat. I grab the camera, slow down the shutter speed, and try to take some shots of the waves. Mom wants pictures of the clouds, and pictures of the white caps on Lake Mac. I'm a little annoyed. She's grown up on the lake, it's not like she's never seen whitecaps on the lake. But I enjoy photography, so I keeping snapping shots. I come back, she calls dad, "Where are you? We're getting hungry!" He's 10 minutes out.

All of a sudden a red station wagon pulls up. I'm pretty sure dad is in it. "Is that dad?" I ask mom. "no, that's not your father." she answers. I'm thinking, no that's definitely dad, what the heck is going on?! He gets out. "Dad, where's your truck?! What happened?" He has a stern face on. I'm seriously worried now. "What's going on?" He says, "My truck is fine, they took it, they put me in something economical." I say, "What?!" He mutters something about being "new at the company" and "needing to prove himself". I'm almost in tears now. Dad has been working weekends and overtime for the past 5 months. He's drained and tired every time I see him. Then he says, "It's yours."


"Its yours baby. Its yours."

"The CAR?"

"Yeah sweety. Your mother and Chris scraped some money together and got it."

"Oh my gosh."

(so point of this story)

I am pretty blessed. I have a beautiful family who pulls together when we need it most. We aren't always a pretty picture. We don't always speak in soft tones. But we are a family. What a picture of sacrifice. I saw Jesus when my parents were standing there in front of that little red car. What a beautiful thing!

So I am the owner of a 1996 Red Ford Escort Station Wagon.

Name suggestions are welcome.

taste the night air.

"Listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go."
-E.E. Cummings

life is meant to be lived friend.

you don't have to be dead to be un-alive.

wake up. breathe. this day was put into motion by a God who loves every moment.

"Worse still, supposing He had found us?"

"There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ('Man's search for God!') suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?" - C.S. Lewis, Miracle

In late fall in Holland, I went on a walk with two friends. We talked about life. Not that this is an unusual occurrence at Hope College, but that this time, it was different. We had grown up in Christian families, we had accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. We had gone to church and youth group and mission trips and community projects. We had done a lot. A lot, except truly explore the heart of God.

We found ourselves asking big questions...Why don't we know the things we should know? Why do we not know, understand, and treasure the foundation of our faith? And what if? what if? what if we wanted more? What if we wanted more than a "jinga tower" faith, full of holes and lacking steadfastness?

We all sit in church and pretend. In the very we place we are supposed to be most honest, we lie to ourselves and one another. And when the pastor asks if we remember a story or a verse, we look around and think, "Should I know this?" And the girl next to you shakes her head, yes, she knows it. But if she knows it, "Surely I should know it..." But instead of diving into the very words of God, we go on pretending, building our faith on a foundation full of gaps.

So we thought, what if? what if? what if we learned the things we should have known all along. What if we read the bible, and this time it's not just a story, not just empty words, what if God breathed life into these dry bones?

And that's exactly what happened.

We stumbled across the living God. More so, he had drawn us into the temple. Into the presence of a Holy God.


Have you been dipping your fingers into the pool of religion? Be careful my friends. You may encounter more that just water. You may encounter blood. You may have found the Holy One.


"What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intamacy with God."
-Monica Baldwin

heavy heart.
bitter heart.
hardened heart.
broken heart.
pride laid down.
wholesome heart.
softened heart.
joyful heart.
light heart.

healing. growth. rejoicing. rebirth.

oh joy.
oh joy.
oh joy.