Roots & Wings

4.28.17



It turns out that the only times I blog are the times I have no time to blog at all.

I suppose that might be because once it's past 1AM, I'm bound to procrastinate on something pointless like Facebook, and if I'm not going to sleep anyway, why not write?

It's simple, really. I don't have all that much to say. Here you go.

After almost three years, my time as a graphic design student is coming to a close. With less than a week until the climax of this whole adventure, I am finally feeling the stress that being a procrastinator eventually leads to. In the midst of this time, the busyness, the stress, the uncertainty and anxiety can fight to swallow up everything. With a large handful of unknowns ahead, it's easy to become anxious and catastrophize until I either cry or just say, "it's all gonna be okay." With desires that are growing and unmet, I'm prone to worry. Over and over and over, having to surrender, yield, trust in the Lord.

In all of it, it's just really easy to wind up in a worried, complain-y, exhausted, self-centered, Word-deprived, sleep-deprived, un-trusting ball on the floor.

And I hardly know how to say it-- how do you keep truth from becoming a cliche? Where are the words to describe it?

I'm at a loss, but this is all I know-- more deeply than my anxiety or uncertainties; more than my own pain or messiness-- that He is good.

He is good.

So, so good.

Really, truly, He is our sustainer. Our provider. Our savior. The truest thing I know. The most tender and loving voice. A God, not of coincidence, but of intention. A giver of good gifts. A giver of Himself. Present. Never leaving. Always calling. The lover of our souls. The One who satisfies.

He satisfies us because we were created to be satisfied by Him. Our souls were formed with an appetite that can only be cured by Him. Not by seeking the desires of our flesh, but by seeking His kingdom and righteousness we find that we are filled simply by seeing His face.

So I stop to reflect on this; to remind myself once again of His goodness. I look at these photos and see so many instances of His kindness to me. A million little graces. I see the God who speaks to me in songs and sits with me in my tears; the God who provides the little things that delight our souls; the God who gives us days that are less productive than we would like so that our souls can be refreshed by relationship; the God who has the best sense of humor. He is the One who shows us that He is better, and in experiencing that, we can say, it is well with my soul. Thy will, not mine. 

So may we cultivate a heart of thankfulness in the face of chaos. May joy overrule our (my!) tendency to complain, and instead turn it into praise. May we find in Him rest for our souls.

Perfect peace, y'all. (Isaiah 26:3)

















1.30.17



I've been wanting to share thoughts here for months, but the time never seems right and the thoughts never quite come together. So naturally, it's 12:25 AM when I'm tired, crying, and in under the covers that the tangents all seem to jive.

For the past [long] while, I've been pondering the idea of vulnerability. Buzzword though it may be, it has brought out a lot in me on my journey to understanding who I was made to be and how I was made to relate with others.

I find it such an interesting concept. As a friend of mine put it, vulnerability is putting our own reputations at risk of being jeopardized. Essentially, tearing down the walls we build for ourselves of how we want to be seen. And while the idea of vulnerability is kind of nice, kind of romantic, kind of #authentic, it kind of sucks.

I mean, really. I'll go first in the name of vulnerability.

There is something fierce in the core of my being that hates it. There's a hard part of me that despises itself when I allow my weakness, my sinfulness, my inadequacy, my insecurity to be seen.

It must be the part of me that is so dead set on being strong and capable. 

It must also be the part of me that knows how weak I am and how much I wish I could deny it.

I think the deal with vulnerability is that it cuts to the heart of our deepest desires-- to be fully seen, fully known, and still fully loved. And when we allow ourselves to be seen and known, we are also throwing ourselves into the possibility of being misunderstood. You know how it goes. You share, maybe overshare-- essentially you share something deeper than what you had for lunch with someone who you believe to be worthy of your trust. And one way or another, you find yourself backpedaling because not only did you give of yourself, but your openness was not stewarded well and suddenly you feel misunderstood, weak and alone.

I have come to see that that often this triggers self-protection. It looks like turning into someone we are not and building some major walls. Because to be fully and unflinchingly ourselves, walking in the confidence of Christ-- that is strength. But it never fails to feel the complete opposite: weak and vulnerable.

And as a desire to be strong grows, it brings with it a temptation to become hard and avoid vulnerability at all costs. While the world (and something in me) says to be a BA woman who can do it all, keeping the walls up and my facade in tact, in a contradiction I find truth: that strength is a humble, gentle perseverance that admits "I can't do it all." Strength is 'working with all your heart as to the Lord' but declaring "The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation."

It is a beautiful mystery in which we grow most in our own lack of strength. In our void we find His abundance. In being misunderstood we find that He understands us. In our vulnerability, we remember that He sees us and still loves us completely. 

And I can honestly say that I've experienced few things sweeter than when his personal love and understanding of our complex selves becomes tangible in the void of earthly love and understanding.

It is when we draw from His unending storehouses of strength and love and joy; when we walk by faith in realization of our true reality and stop trying to muster up everything on our own-- then we experience His fullness of life and the joy of depending on a loving Father who will never fail-- and who can and has done it all.

Hunger


It's 1:33 AM and yes, I have hours of final projects to work on tonight. But first there are words to be said.

Mainly this: the past months have comprised an unbelievably joyful and fruitful season. I've experienced depth with the Lord and sweet friendships and inexplicable joy in "the little things". So it doesn't really make sense that I should hit a rut, just now, at the start of summer and right before I leave for a mission trip to Tokyo.


It's a rut of distraction and struggle and disobedience.

It's waking, only to squander my morning and having to fight to pick up the Word.

It's choosing to let my own thoughts and desires drown out the Lord's voice.

And I guess I should know by now that the Lord is a God who hears. So when I pray for humility, I should expect that He'll take me through what it takes to grow in that. When I pray to know my need of Him, He'll certainly come through, though it might not be pleasant.

And that's where I am. Less than two weeks away from boarding a plane to Japan to take the good news of Jesus to hearts who long for Him, though they know it not. And the more I ponder it, I see how good it is that this is where Jesus has me right now: undeniably aware of my need of Him; utterly dependent on His grace; in desperation for His work in my life.

Because, though I'm foolish and forget sometimes, He is all I have; anything good in me is completely, solely Him. Heaven forbid that I should walk into this opportunity boasting anything but the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. How good He is to remind me, even when the process is messy and not what I would have chosen. Surely His ways are higher than mine!

So, dear friend, take heart. Whatever season you're in, take heart. Know that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.

Know that even when the process is messy and confusing and you're longing for clarity and smoothness, sometimes the blurriness and choppiness produce even better fruit. Sometimes it means that those things bring you to desperation for Him and that can be a good thing.

Remember that although it's uncomfortable, your desperation is a manifestation of hunger, and He says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Receive it. Believe it. His promises will never fail. And never, in all eternity, will He.

Be blessed,

Lindsey


The wonder of today and the wisdom of the slightly older





"I hate to put it this way," I said, "but I feel like we're high on life."

Em and I sat in her kitchen, painting, writing, munching on apples and drinking good coffee after a late night that echoed with the memories and craziness of junior high. Walking and talking, knee-deep in deep contentment and joy. A contentment that is heavy as lead and light as a feather at the same time. The kind that leaves you wondering where on earth it came from until you realize that, of course, the answer is Jesus.

"These are the good old days," we agreed. The joy of drinking in the spring air over a long walk, sleeping in and waking up to late morning light and a cat in my face, and lingering over a real breakfast did me in. Conversation marked by the goodness of the Lord, the sweetness of this season, this indescribable contentment, make "can you imagine this with a beau" moments fewer and farther in-between because just here and now, with friends or alone, is what we've got and what is wonderful.

Time and time again I am knocked down and amazed by the beauty of life and the possibility ahead.  Perhaps, especially with the coming of spring and all the new life it brings, the beauty here and now keeps hitting me in the face.  Everything from electric green fields and the absolute joy of a classic novel to enormous, blue eyes on the plump face of a toddler and people so beautifully vulnerable that they share their struggles through sobs in community without a second thought. Not to mention the spring air, for which I don't even have words because I love it so much.

As I drove on country roads under the clearest sky, crisp air flooding through the windows and getting lost in the music, I began to believe what they all say-- these are some of the best years of your life! Even being alone, left to my thoughts and fellowship with the Lord, I realized the wonderful freedom I have to come and go, up and leave, give and serve, see the world. I see how prime this season is and how deeply I want to live it fully. The words of the half-generation ahead of me rang in my head as I remembered the coffee dates and county walks and post-babysitting conversations where I heard them. Those words, more than any of revolutionary peers or popular voices, push me to act and inspire me to heed the voices that speak of a season already lived.

"Read books. That's not something you'll always have time for."

"Exhaust yourself for the kingdom. You have time and availability that has been and will be unmatched. Carry the burdens of the body of Christ. Feel the pain of the hurting."

"Spend time with your girlfriends. I know when I met my husband it was much harder to find time for them because I just wanted to be with him all the time."

"Take extended time with the Lord; go on a retreat with Him, even if it means giving up your own plans."

"Celebrate people well."

"Make time to hang out with kids while you're in college. It's so good for the soul."

It's their words that make me excited to make impact, to enjoy life, to love well. To make mistakes, because they're inevitable and because I'll need some nugget of wisdom to pass on to the next half generation (aren't mistakes the surest way to learn something?). I'm excited for fifteen years down the road someday, but right now I'm even more excited for walking in freedom and joy today. May we live in the fullness of life that He came to give us!