jim collins

"What is it that you're passionate about?"

As much as I love this question in theory, the reality of having it posed to me is nothing short of unnerving. Because when push comes to shove, I am not sure how to answer it. I feel like I'm suppose to have an answer and, if I'm honest, at this point I don't.

This season is an altogether new one for me. For the past 6 years I've been an on-and-off-but-mostly-on student. A student is someone who pays a whole bunch of money, sometimes borrowed monies from the government, to become educated. By most of the world's standards, it's a luxury. But becoming educated is, when you think about it, a service to the individual - hence it's colossal price tag. Yes, we do have to work hard to remain enrolled, but others are working just as hard to run the system and provide you with something that you've paid for. It's like bar method classes: I spend [too much] money on my monthly membership to the bar method and they facilitate and help me develop in my fitness, but when I go, I ultimately am the one that has to put the work in to strengthen and tone.

For the first time in a long time forever, I now am going to earn money. For two stinkin' years. This is a completely foreign concept to me. I mean I've had tons of jobs but they've always been part time, seasonal, and/or just way too much fun to really consider it working (i.e. camp). I am in this shift of mindset where I am not only accountable to myself but now I am reporting to others around me on a Monday to Friday, 9-5 basis.

When you're a student you can leave your papers to the last minute. You can cram for your exams, skip classes, or show up to your classes in body only (guilty) leaving your mind somewhere far, far away. Ultimately, however, you alone pay the consequences for however you chose, and to whatever extent you chose, to be lazy. Almost everyone experiences this in their first year of University - you get out what you put in. And it's you that suffers the consequences of slacking off or being unprepared. In a job, it's nothing like this. Your lack of enthusiasm for your work, and any kind of slacking, regardless of what it is, will hurt others around you and/or the business that your name is attached to.

I have a confession to make. This isn't easy but it's important that I tell you - I think I've spent the majority of my life cutting corners. I don't know when it started or how I became this way, but I think I'm good at it. If cutting corners was a sport, I would have the gold metal. I am good at finding short cuts and putting as little effort as possible to achieve results that are satisfactory. I think everyone likes this to a degree, but I think I've been way too good at it. I feel like much of my actual success in life, and anything I've achieved with flying colors, has happened as a result of being in the right place at the right time and God just being way too wonderful to me. I am beyond thankful for it, but it's left me a little confused about how the world, and particularly our industrialized society, really works.

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker one time.

She's like, " ...one day I realized that winning people is good but that you won't make it in life, and you won't be sustained, if you know how to win people without putting in the hard work and being good at things too. You're a good people-person, and I am too. But sometimes... you have to actually do stuff you're good at, stuff you don't want to do, and work hard"

Maybe I somehow brain-washed myself into thinking that the people-skills would carry me through. But she is right.

The things is, though, that I can't just do those things (working hard, and doing stuff you don't want to do, etc) for the sake of a pay check. And I also definitely can't do it out of fear of failing the people around me or my boss or just plain looking bad. Those two motivators are not really motivators at all. And if they prosper as primary motivators in the work place, the world will become filled with a bunch of ugly people who are unhappy and crappy. So how do I avoid becoming that person? How do I love what I do but also do it diligently, with effort, with care and consideration for myself and those around me, and remain sane in the process? I honestly don't think that any of those need to be compromised. After all, this is kinda it - we only have one shot.

What I've come to realize over the course of this hectic summer is that I need to be motivated to do what I do to keep my rent paid and food on the table. And the motivation needs to come from a pure and organic love for what I'm doing. Whether I am going to be saving lives or selling stretchy pants, I need to genuinely care about it. This isn't true for everyone but it certainly is true for me.

Do something you're good at and something you're going to be passionate about. Life is way too short to spend 40 hours of your time a week on anything less than that. It seems elementary and kind of over-generalized but this reality has been dawning on me like one of those eureka!'s that happen while I'm sleeping. It's simple but important. It's going to determine if you're living or just killing time.



I can sleep through snoring.
Not only can I sleep through snoring but I can fall asleep to snoring. I might even go as far as saying that it actually puts me to sleep.

I don't really know what it is but it seems like any kind of steadiness can make even the harshest sounds or images transient and peaceful. In the same way, I think that even the most thrilling or exciting things can potentially become dull in the perception of them. If you go to a hockey game where it seems like the puck is just kind of hanging around the middle of the ice for a while and then all of a sudden there's a crazy breakaway, you'll pay attention no matter what it was that you were playing on your phone before. All of a sudden, the crowds stand up and there is this sense of excitement in the anticipation of what's happening.

I love that.

I'm such a sucker for things that pop like a pop of color in an otherwise bleakly hued room, or a stream of rays through a break in the clouds, or a moment in a song where there's only voices. Sometimes those pops are so much more satisfying than a stream of greatness. Too much of a good thing can sometimes be numbing.

In a similar sense, I'm a sucker for newness. I love moving into a new room, getting new clothes or makeup (or toothbrushes... best), and new music in my iPod. But that extends into stuff that gets more serious - new friendships, churches, community, relationships, jobs, geographical location. The old gets, well... old. One of my greatest regrets of who I am is that thing in me that makes my perception of precious things bland because they are no longer new. I use to think it was boredom but I've recently decided it's not really boredom. I need to stop saying that. I'm not bored of my friends or my relationships or my jobs just because they are maybe less "new" than they were. I think it's just that they have such a steadiness to them that I fail to recognize their beauty. This is especially true when my initial impression of them was a heart-stopping, agenda-changing, do-a-180 (not a 360) kind of impression. I get so high and I thrive too much off of that highness rather than stopping and taking a hot minute to realize the beauty of what's around me.

It's not boredom - it's white noise. It's that I fail to remember the beauty that first found me so fond. I am, by nature, a person that thrives off of excitement. So I don't think that has to be a bad thing. It only becomes bad when I fail to remind myself how exciting it all really is and to bring myself back to that place that gave me those butterflies. I think it's a choice. It's a discipline.

White-noise doesn't have to have such a negative connotation in my life. White-noise can mean that I am at peace. If I chose to view it well, I can pick away at the new things that come into my life amidst a backdrop of artistry and a sustained surrounding of matured and aged blessings. It's a choice of reminding.

Talking today at church about having ears to hear, I realized that for me, it's a matter of tuning in. It's the difference between looking for the new as a way of replacing the awesome that's before me, instead of appreciating the new as it comes while finding that contentment is really about taking note of the environment. The noise is there, and you can hear it, but you might just not really be listening that closely. I've been finding that when I do, I don't need to find new and that I can recognize it as novelty. I think it's possible to have both a sense of novelty in my life while embracing a continual and sustained experience of peace that goes beyond the mountain-top-experiences.



Moments of thoughtfulness always seem to allude back to a poem I wrote a few years ago. It's not super typical of me to write poetry but this one time I had so much in my fragile heart, and it just came out in the form of a poem. It's a little fascinating how much weight it still seems to carry in the thesis weaved in and throughout my incredibly average 20-some-year-old life.

i come and then i go
in and out of phases
in and out of stages
of plays and and circus cages
one time to be loved
and sometimes just paraded

It's that word, "phases." Is it normal to look back upon the past four years of your life and see about a dozen different people? Each person has different goals, different values, different style, different passions. I would even go so far as to say different way of talking, walking, or laughing. A friend of mine named Kevin introduced the word "steadfastness" into my life a few months ago when I met him. It's not like I had never heard the word or wasn't familiar with what it meant. But he used it on such a personal level. He talked about steadfastness in reference to how our relationship to God should look based on his ideal example -- his love is steadfast so we should be steadfast in our obedience to his will. His love doesn't shift and is entirely independent from anything else. His love, and his mercy, are catalysts.

(cat·a·lyst   [kat-l-ist]
noun1.Chemistry . a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.2.something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.)

My quest for steadfastness is not as steadfast as I wish it was. Sometimes I hardly acknowledge the fact that most of my young adult life is a series of chapters, each one with a completely different character. It shocks me to look at some of those characters because some feel so far removed from who I feel I am right now.
I'm not talking about change and growth and developing as a person. I'm all for it. I think there can be great steadfastness through that refining of character over time. People change. That's not what I'm referring to. My "phases" are embarrassingly a result of running back and forth between a passion for the approval of man and a passion for giving my heart over to that which is greater.

I think steadfastness happens in part with an awareness that one is much more worth pursuing than the other. I don't know how or why some people are better at it than others. I don't think it's easy for anyone. But some day-dreaming whimsical fanciful people like me have a harder time staying grounded. It's so easy to get caught up in fairy-tales and what-ifs and think-it-would-be-better-for-myself-and-others-if-I-was-more-XYZ's.

I wish I could say with full confidence, "it has been and continues to be the same thing that gets me out of bed every morning -- that which is steadfast and unceasing in love!"

But I think Funk hit the nail on the head yesterday when he reminded us that this will be a struggle - that the struggle isn't magically removed in some formulaic response to Jesus but that it will, perhaps, be a difficult battle that you face every day.

Knowing that is comfort in that I recognize no one is struggle-free. And differentiating between the temptation and the practice is probably an important first step.

Listen to the message that inspired me here (sermon on Homosexuality).  


in a market dimly lit

I wrote a little song for you
with a melody I'd borrowed put to words that didn't rhyme
to repeat what you already knew
as the stones thrown at your window tapped in syncopation
you kept a distance out of fear you'd break
but what's good a single windchime, hanging quite all alone?
the music our collisions would make
is a sound that turns the road-that-leads-us-back-home
into Home.


affection simplified

Two boxes met upon the road
Said one into the other
If you’re a box
And I’m a box
Then you must be my brother
Our sides are thin
We’re cavin’ in
And we must get no thinner
And so two boxes hand in hand
Went home to have their dinner.


absolute truth

Some of the objection in the mind of the pluralist is that every claim to absolute truth must be, in the end, oppressive. Because if you claim to have the truth, then you will use that truth as power and coercion to dominate and oppress people. And it is certainly true that any community which claims to possess the absolute truth must inevitably, if it gains power, become oppressive. But the Christian claim is not such; although in the course of history it's been wrongly understood as such.

{The church has screwed this thing up big time. there have been points in history where the church has used its position of power to oppress. But take this illustration: if you go to see a Junior High perform a Shakespeare play, please don't leave that place saying "Shakespeare is a hack... I'm never going to read any of his plays again." The problem wasn't with Shakespeare - it was with the people who represented him in the play. So just because the church has screwed this thing up numerous times throughout history, don't throw the story of God out with those who tried to live it out and made a mess of it.}

The claim of the Christian community is that in Jesus the absolute truth has been made present, and that the relativity's of human cultures, and that the form which this truth took was not that of dominance and imperial power but that of one who is without power or rather whose power was manifest in weakness and suffering. The church, thus, does not proclaim to possess absolute truth - it claims to know where to point for guidance for the common search for truth.

Jesus, as the truth, does not show up with power to oppress; he doesn't show up as an imperialistic ruler who conquers his enemies with power and force. He shows up as a suffering servant who doesn't use power to oppress but actually lays aside his power, is oppressed himself, dies for his enemies and prays for their forgiveness while he is dying. So the one who is absolute is humbled. He suffers and dies. He is one who is marked by grace, truth, mercy, and justice.

- a sermon i heard today


a mistake

Adoption is a beautiful thing.

Think about it.

For most of us, it's probably just another social norm... something that just happens and doesn't really affect our lives one way or the other. But for some, it's how they've survived.

Sometimes, some people are cursed with the dreaded fate [sarcasm] of getting pregnant at a time in their life when they're completely unprepared to raise a child. I've never experienced that feeling. I can only imagine what it's like: one day you're going through life and everything is completely normal; the next, you realize you have a person... living inside of you.

There must be this overwhelming intense switch that goes off in a woman's mind when she realizes there is a human that is entirely dependent on her body to survive. Most of us are hardly responsible enough to take care of ourselves.

But all of a sudden, you're not just you anymore.

All of a sudden, you are bound physically to another person you don't even know yet.

If you do nothing at all, there is a good chance a baby will come out of you in less than a year and you'll be a mom. For some, this is a miracle. And for others, it's a heart-dropping reality that makes them wish they could somehow switch back the clocks of time.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who have been waiting in patient anticipation for this same moment almost their entire lives and never get to experience it. Some people, despite all their preparation and emotional investment, will one day learn that they'll never have that feeling.
& now we have two opposites that are equally horrible, depending on context: being pregnant, and knowing you'll never be pregnant.

I've always been the "make lemonade out of lemons" person. I feel like I've always at least believed in the power and miracle to turn ugly into beautiful... ashes into diamonds. I'm not saying that it always will be but I believe in that potential and searching for it.

I believe in an overarching redemptive quality to life - in the small, day-to-day things and the massive, this-is-gunna-change-everything things.

I think adoption is beautiful because out of this "mistake" can come a new hope.

There is new hope for the parents who receive a gift that will unfold to make up for the days they were tortured to know they can't conceive. I'm not saying that having a child is more of a joy than not having a child, but to some people it is. How amazing that this mistake to one person is embraced as a blessing by the arms of someone else. People who are barren depend on mistakes.

Even more, though, there is a new hope for the baby. Baby's are, by definition, completely dependent on the help of more capable humans to survive. They're inherently helpless on their own. If I had a baby in 9 months and just left it, excuse my bluntness, it would die. The only way that fate could be reversed is if someone else took on the responsibility and decided to care for it as their own child.

When my mom found out she was pregnant with me, she cried.
They weren't tears of joy.
She called my dad, who responded with "Well Chaaalate (Boston accent), I guess I gotta marry ya do I?"
And the shotgun wedding took place in a nice little chapel only a few short days before I was born.

That's an awkward start to a life. My existence was, like so many other people, unplanned. But my mom and dad bit the bullet and changed their perspective.
So it goes without saying, there's that option too.

But there are some who just can't do it.
& I just love the way that dark situation is made light. It's not only restored to it's original state -- it's enhanced. It's made better.


"God's not hand-tied"

People know where to mine silver
and how to refine gold.
They know where to dig iron from the earth
and how to smelt copper from rock. ...
People know how to tear apart flinty rocks
and overturn the roots of mountains.
They cut tunnels in the rocks
and uncover precious stones.
They dam up the trickling streams
and bring to light the hidden treasures.
But do people know where to find wisdom?
Where can they find understanding?
No one knows where to find it,
for it is not found among the living.
‘It is not here,’ says the ocean.
‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea.
It cannot be bought with gold.
It cannot be purchased with silver. ...
God alone understands the way to wisdom;
he knows where it can be found,
for he looks throughout the whole earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
He decided how hard the winds should blow
and how much rain should fall.
He made the laws for the rain
and laid out a path for the lightning.
Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it.
He set it in place and examined it thoroughly.
And this is what he says to all humanity:
"The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;
to forsake evil is real understanding."
Job 28:1-2, 9-15, 23-28

Sometimes I maybe just need to understand that I just might not ever.
Thank you, God, that your knowledge is infinite & mine is not.
Thank you that you're God, & not me.


advice taken.

"Get RID of anything that's distracting you --
Cut it OFF like a woodsman cuts wood.
Dispose of it;
Burn it;
Don't look back."
- HL


At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time. 
Friedrich Nietzsche


the artist

In one of his recent blog posts, Donald Miller's contributer, Anne Jackson, was talking about Starry Night by van Gogh. She talked about how that painting is a deep and real part of who van Gogh was and how it was something in his heart that made him paint his paintings:

"I’m fairly sure van Gogh didn’t have any “what will people think?” thoughts running through his mind as he painted, either.
However, I do believe there is a purity and honesty in each of us that can be released when we set aside our expectations, our fears, and our desire to please others and simply paint whatever that unspeakable and great thing that’s inside of us. The world will take notice. Not of us, but of the great Starry Night in us that will transcend them and inspire them into believing the truth about the goodness that is inside of them as well."

This resonates with me in more than one way.

On the surface, it articulates my love of writing as a form of expression regardless of who I believe will agree with me or like it or understand. I understand. When I read it over, I feel it's my heart in words. Sometimes when I don't have those words to articulate what is on my heart, I get anxious because I can still feel that great thing inside of me (great not necessarily meaning awesome or agreeable but more just... big, and encompassing all of me).
Do you ever have a moment where you feel you just have so much more good in you that you could be actualizing but there is something that's in the way? That thing being selfishness, pride, greed, fear, jealousy... the kind of stuff that make us just average instead of Mother-Theresa-Awesome?
Well, which one is you: the good in you or the thing that's getting in the way?

On a deeper level, through her parallel, I think Jackson wants us to feel like a creation as well. Like if we're van Gogh's Starry Night, and God is van Gogh, then we were created out of a deep and lovely heart of a creator. Like there is something of Him written all over us or laced into our being.
Maybe that's that good thing we're all wishing we could express more. Maybe it's the same good thing that we're wishing we could just be more.


the King of Hearts

In lieu of Valentines Day being just around the corner, I thought I'd follow up from my post about the recent purges in my life. There's something else that has been, despite my objections, recently removed from my life: boys/romance/relationships.

The simplified version of my overall relationship with relationships is that it's ugly. I was raised without a dad after the first five years of my life. As my sister likes to refer to it, I have "daddy issues."
That concept can manifest itself in so many different ways and can be a product of so many different types of depraved father situations. I use the word "depraved" loosely to mean absent father, irresponsible, immature, selfish, lost father... Some people are unaffected by getting dealt one of these hands. Some women, God bless them, are strong and independent and smart enough to have an honest and healthy view of love, romance, and relationships, despite not directly receiving an example of one growing up. Women that I've met have landed no where really in that healthy middle section of this spectrum: The one who guards her heart, mind, soul, and body, and puts on a tough exterior that no man can possibly "crack," so as to avoid disappointment, rejection, and hurt. That guardedness can take a lot of forms I think, but I think it's a kind of protection they put around themselves that can turn out to be detrimental in relationships because of a lack of trust and vulnerability where they're worthy; then the other end, the one who is longingly looking to fill a void that she has experienced without the love, discipline, protection, and guardianship only a dad can offer. That's the profile I fit into pretty well. Don't get me wrong -- my mom is a saint. She has been the best mom-and-dad combo that I possibly could have ever asked for. I constantly look at her reflecting on my own life and wonder how I am ever going to love outside of myself in the way that she consistently has loved Lesley and I. But there is something inherently different about the way a mom loves her children, and the way a dad does. In the same way, there is something inherently different about the approval and love and affection of females and that of males. The way a man loves is different. I missed out on that.

I do not want to put this on a pedestal as the be-all-end-all defining aspect of who I am. My father passing away 19 years ago makes me no less or no more me than I would have been otherwise. God has purposed all of this to his plan and for that, I am grateful. That is why I blog. Because if there is a slight chance someone feels understood through my experience, he delights in that. That is just a thing that has happened to me... a thread in my blanket... a part of my story.

As a result of my manlessness, I have relentlessly tried to satisfy a deep longing with relationships. And relationship after relationship after relationship left me feeling more empty, tired, and lonely than I did before. I was missing something and I knew what it was... but I didn't want to give it enough of a chance because I was so sure that without the instant and tangible affirmations and love in a physical form, that it wouldn't fill my deepest needs.
I had no idea that God could because he's God. He's just so invisible... he's big and all universal and abstract. I can't hold his hand or be held in his arms when I'm sad or watch movies with him or have him give me advice. I can't watch him laugh at my jokes or be spoiled by his acts of service or have him surprise me randomly when I need it the most.... can I?
I had God in a box. I didn't understand that he can do all those things and fill all those needs plus much more... SO MUCH MORE.

God is everlasting, eternal, great, and incomprehensible. But he is also the most intimate, kind, and caring entity there is to ever possibly be experienced. I never "gave up men" because God cares enough for me, and knows me well enough, that he just whisked them away from me for this season. He did what he needed in order to help me recognize his outstretched arms just waiting for me to fall into. He knew I needed to be undistracted to romance me the way I've been longing to be romanced.

For the past decade of my life, the very best of what I had to offer was being poured into these relationships that were unworthy. My firsts and my bests belong to God because they were never mine to begin with. In recognizing and following through with that truth, the desires of my heart are being satisfied.

It's still fresh for me to be single. Single is not something I am use to. One thing I love about, though, it is all the extra time I have now to spend with God. I love that I don't have a man to run to so when I get tired or lonely or insecure or stressed, I just turn to him and it's way better than going to a man. He doesn't feel burdened by me either - he actually delights in that because he desires to cast out that fear and sadness with his love. He keeps pouring into me in places where there simply was no room for before - and I'm being serious when I say it's way better. Some day, when I'm ready, I will be able to date again. But it will be a very special person that my heart is being prepared for right now. Through this time of healing and devotion, not only am I learning the significance of a greater love, but my heart is being prepared to love someone else better than I've ever been able to.
I'll be sharing this Valentines Day with my dad, my lover, my best friend, and the King of my heart.


trying proverbs 22:3

So I've recently discovered I am one of the most boring friends to have. I'm like that friend that went from super cool to super lame when she decided to go to med school and all of a sudden had no time to do anything fun anymore. Except way less awesome because I don't even have the "well, at least she's going to be a doctor at the end of all of this. that will be worth it."
Going through the whole elimination diet thing to find out what my body is actually intolerant to, I'm discovering a most-possible intolerance to gluten and gluten, for those of you who don't know, is probably in like 85-90% of what you normally eat. Yadayadayada. Everyone and their dog these days is GF so that's no real shock. Apparently, a lot more people are and just don't know it yet. I really feel no need to go on about this except that I just want to say one thing: I'm sorry to my friends to be that person who has an eating restriction. I've always been the "I'll eat anything" person so now I feel annoying when we go out to eat and I have to be picky - I don't want to be!
Two of my new years resolutions (for 6 months) were: no more espresso drinks and no buying clothes. That means if we go for coffee, I'm being boring and buying a boring drip. This also means if we go shopping, you're shopping and I'm watching (slash maybe being tempted and therefore, frustrated, but mostly by choice). So there is three things that make me boring. For spiritual and emotional reasons, I've given up drinking. That means if we go out "for a beer" now, I am getting... a coke? Way to make you feel awkward about that beer you just ordered.
So yeah, for all those reasons, since the past few months, my life has had some restrictions put on it. I still consider myself a free-bird at heart and I know I am a good time, but the things I do with my time and how I am with my friends might look very different today than they did 3 months ago. It's not like one day I woke up and decided to drop all of these things from my life just to practice discipline or punish myself for spending too much money or something. These restrictions on my life were in part a choice and in part, a submission to the obvious direction my life was taking - something outside of myself was taking it there. It was gradual... & became easy when I didn't want those things anymore anyway. I just feel callings in areas of my life that need fine tuning, and I'm not trying to be radical, but sometimes, friends, we need to be radical in order to progress. We've seasons of baby steps & little acts of faith; & we have seasons of enormous leaps that leave us vulnerable & overjoyed at the same time. I've been talking to God a lot more lately. I've been trying to see what he wants to tell me.
It has been crystal clear to me that I am in a season in my life where there are things - big things - in my life that I need to be freed from; there are things that captivate my affection and hold it hostage so much that I can't enjoy a freedom of finding true joy in God. Part of that is my identity in the way I dress, the friends I have, how much people take to me or like me, how many texts I might get (my battery has been lasting so much longer these days!), the way my hair looks. Anything and everything from the earrings I put on in the morning to the way I laugh after a joke I didn't get but know I should have. It's okay to take care of yourself, but it's not okay to look to people's praise to define who and how-great you are. There are things I've done, and still do, that are evidence of my attachment to the approval of others. It's slowly but surely, only by God's perfect grace, being changed.
Giving up things that cost money is my way of being more aware of how I can give sacrificially to others, and not just satisfy an appetite I have in a moment of weakness, or fill a void of love with trying to look "Vancouver-hip" with cute style. At the end of the day, the lesson I'm trying to learn is that it's not about me.
Putting an end to something that has become such a regular part of my life, drinking, is causing me to take a deeper and more critical look at myself -- who I am and what my identity is. What are the jokes I love? Who are the people who make me the most happy? How am I a good friend? How do I relate to people? These are questions that don't get answered under the influence because the lines are blurred and all of a sudden, we're everyone's friend, and have a deluded sense of confidence in ourselves, and trust in others. That alters my reality even in sobriety because I'm not sure what's real and what's not anymore. I lose sight and clarity of thought and emotion. It's not that I don't love being drunk, it's that I love being drunk for the wrong reasons and too much. Because it temporarily fills in a gap that has been eroding from years of putting my trust in all the wrong things, when that gap can only be made whole when I let him make me completely new -- that means being made in His image (Colossians 3:10) & being "transformed" (2 Corinthians 3:18). It sounds huge. It is.
I know decisions like these aren't for everyone and my goal isn't to prove that it's right -- just that it's right for me. The longer I go without it, the less I want it and I see that as God's awesome way of boosting my confidence that it is the right decision for me.
And even though this is probably the one decision that will affect my social life the most, and maybe make me seem lame now, I'm not apologizing for it like I apologize for not being able to split a pizza with you.
This is an incredibly scary blog to write because the last thing I want is a bunch of eyes on me just waiting for me to fail at this new... ness. But that's not what this is about. If it were about me and my actions and disobedience then I might as well crawl under a rock and stay there for eternity.
And I'm not over-thinking. Maybe anyone who thinks that should just think more... maybe more about pushing themselves and less about the people around them. I'm thinking a good amount. I've spent too much time under-thinking.
I'm not perfect.
I'm striving [without ceasing] because my heart has been captivated by something incredible & perfect.
It's now or never.
I was wrong; I'm not changing, I am being changed.
I'm learning.
I'm learning about suffering.
I'm learning how to lean on not my efforts, but my knowledge that I've been forgiven as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12); & that I'm given all the power, love, wisdom and self-discipline I need (2 Timothy 1:7)
Go figure beer is my drink of choice anyways and is not GF. Ohhh... so ironic.

PS. this isn't the whole story. ask me if you're still curious :)