How to Say “I Love You”

How To Say I Love You

As featured on the Rebelution.

This summer I staffed at Summit Ministries, which was an exhilarating, exhausting, hilarious, heart-wrenching, broken and beautiful time of growth and service and encouragement and learning.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about questions.

“What do you mean by that?” “How did you come to that conclusion?” “What are the ramifications of that belief?” These and dozens of others were expressed and encouraged at Summit throughout the summer. But I want to talk about one particular question. One that none of the speakers, staff, or students — and yet all of them — ever directly verbalized.

How do you say I love you? Continue reading

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Looking Back — My First Blogiversary

My First Blogiversary

How do you measure growth? When you’re young it’s easy: inches and shoe sizes and buying longer pants yet again. But what about when you’re older? How do you measure the growth of the mind? How do you trace the trail of the soul? We can walk about with our eyes the same color, our clothes the same style, our days the same schedule; and yet our insides completely changed.

And we forget. Familiarity breeds — ignorance of it ever being any different. When we forget to look back, we think we’ve always lived in this same plane, in this same place. Which means we lose a little. We lose those hard-fought victories, we lose the jumping in exultation, we lose the heart-wrenching convictions, the spirit-overwhelming love.

Growth is good. By looking back we remember where we came from.

This last year has seemed so very short, and yet as if it’s been forever. Here I am, blogging for a year with about 150 followers. That’s amazing and wonderful and — terrifying. Continue reading

Don’t Spend Your Time Preparing For Your Future Home

Don't

I read a quote the other day, from a title or an article, saying “You should spend every moment of your waking time as a single readying yourself to provide for your future home.”

And I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t actually read the article. And that’s not a direct quote. That’s simply the best I remember of it, though I do remember being shocked at how specific “every moment of your time” was. I did fully intend to read the article, willing to give the author credit for having an explanation, a caveat. But sadly, somehow its page was closed, and I couldn’t find where it came from or where it went. So I shall assume the best of the author, and believe that they intended to explain themselves, and place preparing for our future home in its proper order of importance.

Yet the fact remains, I know of teachers who might just accept that quote as it now stands.

I know of girls who believe that quote just as it now stands.

I  know of people who live that quote just as it now stands.

I used to be one of them. Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred

Don't Forget to Keep Your Sacred

I grasped something beautiful the other day. But I lost it.

It had been one of those maddeningly-long days, full of never-screaming-but-also-never-ceasing frustrations, where you clench your eyes and your sanity just to keep from losing it all. Tensed, tired, and dusty, my only thoughts were water for my throat and shower, but on the way there I picked up my tablet. As the water whooshed and steam filled the air, I absent-mindedly turned on my music, hoping perhaps the notes could wash away the heaviness soap and water couldn’t reach.

Fortunately, the living Water is very skilled at doing just that.

Standing there, alone, open, bare; I was overcome. I worshiped. I was renewed. I rejoiced in Him, in praising His name. I returned to my room cleansed in more ways than one; and sat down to continue working on a post started long before, worship music still playing and working in my soul.

In a moment, overcome by Him, I stopped and wrote one of the deepest, most heartfelt, most vulnerable and overwhelmed bit to Him I have ever known.

“Have you felt it? This longing, overwhelming urge to know Him more, this rushing out of your heart to become closer to Him? You’ve had a taste of His love and want to become drunk on it, to know Him more, to have more of Him, just more of His word, just more of His presence, just more of His awesomeness, in the old sense of the word — that, that only is enough to satisfy and you crave it overwhelmingly.”

But — that’s not it.

The sad part is, that paragraph is not what I wrote. That’s only the gleanings, the faded colors of what I remember, the distant echoes of a powerful prayer. Because somehow, I lost it. Continue reading

Think Fully, Love Fully, Live Fully (Summit Ministries Thoughts)

Think Fully

Uncertainty. Fear. Confusion.

Those seem to be the words defining this generation. We are vividly, violently passionate about our beliefs — but uncertain about what those beliefs are. We claim ideas on which to live our lives, but don’t even check to see if those pieces fit together. We are indeed a generation divided — our hearts and our minds, our logic and our beliefs, our words and our actions, our truth and our love — our questions and the truth are seemly separated by so great an ocean that we haven’t even bothered to get our feet wet.

Just look at what passes for truth all about us. Continue reading

Everywhere and Everywhen, I Need Him

Everywhere and Everywhen

I failed this week.

I was so proud of myself earlier. I had planned, I was organized, I was ready. I started my Facebook page, did all my platforming, wrote an average of 400 words every day, peer-edited with my friends, and — failed.

Because here I am, looking at my blog on Friday night, with nothing to publish. Nothing worth giving you. Not to say I don’t have plenty of articles and ideas lying around in my draft box — I do. And they’re all fine. But if this was in real life, they would be scattered all across my desk, scribbled and crossed out, fluttering despondently in the wind from my empty open window. As it is though in this digital age, they just sit composedly in their nice little list, looking up at me asking, “What is wrong?”

Nothing — and everything. Continue reading

Announcement: Life’s Reflections

Life'sReflectionsAnnouncement

Reflection. I like that word. It has two sides, two facets, both weaving and working together.

Usually when blogs talk about reflections, it’s about thinking deeply, thinking back, being reminded. But reflections can also be about mirrors. About seeing reality. About looking at things differently.

And so it gently delights me to tie both of those meanings to everyday life.

Yes, we should muse on the little moments, the deeper meanings. But perhaps we can only do that when we see the meaning behind everything, the One behind all life.

Jesus used bird and farming and everyday life for analogies of the Gospel, why cannot we view our lives in the same way?

And so I’m starting this new series, Life’s Reflections, to ponder on life, but more than that to ponder on Jesus; because I love analogies and need to remind myself how all parts of life can circle back to the Gospel.

I want to see, though it may be in a thousand removals, the reflection of the glory of God in every mundane moment, to think deeply on every little gift, and to perceive clearly all of life’s reflections.

 

 

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m so excited to start this new series and journey with you, and hopefully being reminded of the Gospel in all of life! The first post of this series was actually written earlier (Clean Hands in a Muddy World) before I had a proper name, which I could turn into an analogy about trusting and following even when you don’t quite know what’s going on, — but I digress, this is announcement, not a post!

You may also notice a bit of a new layout for Seeing Everything Else, I’ve been changing the look a little, and have added a new section (conveniently dubbed Series ) where you can keep up with this series, as well as catch up with my previous one. But besides these posts every Tuesday I’ll also continue with my regular thoughts on everything and anything in the Christian life on Saturdays as well. I’m curious, what would you guys think of posts on Thursdays sharing an amazing resource or song or poem or video I’ve found across the web? I haven’t quite decided yet, and wanted your input.

Keep on following after Him!

The Most Beautiful Story

themostbeautifulstory

Days they force you

Back under those covers,

Lazy mornings, they multiply.

Life is mundane sometimes. It’s slow, it’s dragging, it’s the same circle round and round again. The sun rises, and the sun sets, slowly spinning round again, and everything seems much the same. We work. We eat. We sleep. We get up the next morning and do it all over again. Life is reduced to dry facts on a page: breakfast, shoes, car, computer, water.

And facts, well, facts don’t do much of anything. Contrary to what we often think, they don’t command you, they don’t encourage you, they don’t comfort you. They only tell you what has happened in the past, and what is happening in the now. You are here, this is going on, this is all there is, and this is all there’ll ever be. Basic, textbook definitions.

So everything becomes a grey list of steady, unending, unrelenting march of facts. Dry monotones that dull your sense and close your eyes in slumber. Basic, textbook life.

But we were never meant to be a textbook. Continue reading

Dear Younger Me, On Valentines Day

Dear Younger Me.png

I looked back the other day and saw you.

Tired, broken, crying out in loneliness.

Because days are long, the future is uncertain, and the pressure to have your plans all scheduled and written out is terrifying. But that wasn’t it. Those were just the fuel to the smoldering pain in your heart.

No, it was because, near a certain holiday, your social media begins to light up with pictures of couples. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not wrong. In fact, several of your friends had just began serious relationships, and you danced about and rejoiced with them.

You were happy, so very happy for your friends and their fiancés. But, deep down inside, hard as you tried to quiet it, the whispers rose up. Why not me? Continue reading

Another Year, Not the Same

AnotherYearNottheSame.png

I turned 6 yesterday.

Not in life years, of course, but in eternity. In being born-again. Growing older in eternal life, that’s an amusing concept to wrap your mind around. But somehow, as odd and strange as that sounds, it’s true.

Six years. Six years to grow in grace. Six years to walk in the Spirit. And six years, since I first met Him.

It seems so short, and yet as if I always have known Him. And yet, even the longest life, the most years, wouldn’t be enough to know Him — why, even eternity is barely enough to sing His praises.

And, oh, how young, how foolish I still am! So ensnared in my vanity, so tangled up with pride, so caught up with those idols which long ago should have died — inside of me can be a raging, chaotic turmoil of emotions and anger and impatience and fear and — and He hasn’t left. He’s still here.  Continue reading