Tuesday, June 17, 2014

In transit.

Today started off kind of rocky.  My flight was scheduled for 12:10.  Boarding was supposed to start at 11:10AM.  We got there around 9:45.  Had to wait in line for AN HOUR to drop my bags off.  Luckily Scott was with me.  I was a little nervous when we finally got to the ticket counter.  I knew my bags were a gamble.  The first one weighed in at 22kg.  Right on the money!  But my extra bag was 34kg (they won't accept anything over 32kg) and my carry-on was 14.5 (it's supposed to be 10kg).  I played the but-I'm-moving-home-and-I'm-really-stressed card to see if the lady at the desk would give me a break.  She didn't.  Instead, she said, "You're going to have to repack these pay for two overweight bags.  There's nothing else you can do."  So Scott helped me repack all three bags.  At first, we over-corrected.  But when we finally put the bags back on the scale, they weighed 9.5kg, 31.4kg, and 29.6kg!!!  Phew!  She said I won the award for having the heaviest bag on the plane.  I asked it that meant I didn't have to pay for it.  She didn't think that was very funny. 

Since check-in and bag-drop took so long, the plane left about an hour late.  I suggest you never fly Air Canada Rouge.  They have no in-flight entertainment.  Unless you bring your own iPad or laptop.  But the selection wasn't worth the effort.  So I slept.  And sudoku-ed.  Half the toilets were out of order.  I was sitting right next to one of the working ones.  Lucky me.

Toronto has half automated passport control and pre-clearance for the USA.  Everyone was confused.  And freaking out that they were going to miss their connection.  I had a 5 hour layover, so at least I could be calm and confused, which was a much better alternative  I also had the pleasure of dealing with Chatty Immigration Officer.  We're had the following (slightly befuddling) conversation...

CIO: Where are you going?
Me: Dallas.
CIO: Dallas Texas!
Me: That's right.
CIO:Where are you coming from?
Me: Dublin.
CIO: Dublin Ireland!
Me: Right again.
CIO: Were you there for pleasure?
Me: I was living there.  I'm moving home now.
CIO: Dallas is better.
Me: What do you mean?
Me: You mean a better place to live?
CIO: Yeah.  Better than Dublin.
Me: I don't know.  It's really hot in Dallas.  I think I might melt when I get off the plane.
CIO: No you won't.  You're not chocolate.  You're not going to melt.
Me: Yeah, ok.  I guess you're right.
CIO: You been doing henna or something?
Me: Excuse me?
CIO: Your arm... you been doing henna?
Me: Uh, yes.  That's henna.  A friend gave me a farewell-henna last night.
CIO: Cool.  Welcome home.  NEXT!

I took my passport and walked off.  I'm still not exactly sure how one does henna.  But at least I know I won't melt in Dallas, no matter how hot it feels.  It's a good thing I'm not chocolate.

So now I'm chilling at F66.  In-transit.  Gone but not home.  No longer there but not yet here.  The goodbyes have been said, but the hellos are still waiting.  I think my heart needed this transition, this layover between my past and my future, between the sadness and the excitement.  I think I'll keep staring out the window and let my mind take a break for a little while. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Time to let it all hang out.

I'm leaving Dublin in two days.  June 17th will end my three-year commitment.  The day has been marked on the calendar for a few months now.  But as time passed, those months were reduced to weeks and the weeks were reduced to days.  Soon, those days will be reduced to hours.  It's an overwhelming feeling.

Leaving Dublin is one of a handful of moments with the capacity to change my life completely.  At first, this particular moment was only a small outline on the horizon of my distant future.  I've watched it grow bigger as time pushes me closer to it.  And now it's looming just ahead.  Unavoidable.  Imminent.  Demanding to be dealt with.  I'm at the edge of the horizon.  My present is colliding with my future.  Change is coming.

I've been holding myself together fairly well, something I attribute to the "emotional spanx" I managed to wrangle around my heart.  They held in all the wobbly bits... sadness. fear, anxiety.  They accentuated the attractive bits... happiness, excitement, anticipation.  A few things popped out now and again... anger, frustration, melancholy... but for the most part, they smooshed everything together.  Nice and smooth.

Until now.

The swarm of emotion in my heart is growing too big.  My spanx are busting at the seams.  All those wobbly bits are spilling out everywhere.  We're talking full-on-ugly-cry-face.  Guess it's time to throw these spanx in the bin.  Right after I use them to wipe my teary eyes and blow my snotty nose.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

coming Home...

What I'm about to say may be offensive to some people.  But it must be said.  I have THE BEST family in the world!  I tend to brag about them quite a bit.  It's hard for me to say what makes them so wonderful.  They're loud and funny and loving and obnoxious and annoying and aggravating and I love it.  All of it.  They are my Home.  They are comfortable.  And I miss them like crazy. 

But tomorrow, I'll only have to miss half of them.  Because this half is coming to Dublin. 

I honestly thought this day may never happen, that Mooly and Daddy would never get around to coming for a visit of their own.  I was wrong.  They're coming.  Tomorrow!  The excitement is overwhelming.  I can't even think straight.  So much life happens here and I can't wait to share it with them.  I can't wait for them to finally experience all the things I try to tell them about, with thousands of miles and an ocean between us.  But mostly I can't wait to hug them at the airport.  To jump and squeal and cry.  To feel Home.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I woke up early this morning.  Like 4:30 AM-kind-of-early.  I hate it when that happens.  I fought it for an hour and a half before finally accepting the reality of my situation.  More sleep was not in my immediate future.  So I got up.  Made coffee and oatmeal.  And climbed back in bed to read this book by Gary Molander. 

Bare with me as I summarize:

Gary starts talking about the parable of the treasure and the field (Matt. 13:43-44).  You know, the one where a man finds treasure in a field.  Buries it.  Sells everything he has.  Buys the field.  Keeps the treasure forever.  The one that I've always thought was supposed to remind me that the Kingdom of God is the most valuable treasure I could ever find so I should be willing to sell everything else I have so that I can keep it forever.  Gary puts it this way, "Our application is that we need to sacrifice whatever it takes to acquire the Kingdom of God.  It's a treasure in a field, waiting for us to possess it.  Pushed to its logical conclusion, we buy the Kingdom of God."

Wait.  What?  That's not right.  We can't buy the Kingdom of God, can we?  Gary says maybe we've mis-applied what Jesus was saying.  So he puts the parable back in its context, at the end of a bunch of other parables describing the nature of God's Kingdom.  The sower.  The weeds.  The mustard seed.  In all these examples, God is the man slash farmer slash landowner.  Humans are represented by the thing that is dormant (the soil slash seed) until life (the Gospel) is infused into it.  The pattern is repeated over and over.  God offers Life.  We chose to accept it and grow, or refuse it and die.  But that's the only part we play.  God always makes the first move.

Until the parable of the treasure.  That's when we decide to make ourselves the main character of the story.  That's when we decide it's our turn to make the move.  Gary says we should hold our horses.  We should keep the story in context.  We should continue the pattern. 

God (the man slash farmer slash landowner) finds a field.  We (the soil slash seeds) are dormant treasure.  He finds us and "in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."  That's the Gospel.  Everything He has.  He hangs on a cross for treasure in a field.  And He's overjoyed at the thought of it.

Duh.  Thanks, Gary, for helping me see the obvious!

And thank you, Father for constantly reminding me that I'm your segullah.  Your treasure in a field.  Infused with your Life.  Amen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

it's not fair.

I’m a fairly average consumer.  I rent a two-bedroom apartment.  I get my groceries from the shop down the street.  I buy a few clothes when I need them (or the “shopping urge” hits, which is actually seldom).  I do have a rather large sewing addiction, which means boo-coos of fabric.  But other than that, I would say my lifestyle is moderate.  I’m not overly-conscious, but I’m not extravagant either, so I figure it all balances out somewhere in the middle.

Then I took this survey and found out I have 34 slaves working for me.  Suddenly, my fairly moderate lifestyle doesn’t seem very “fair.”  And honestly, that number is probably on the low end of reality, especially when I start including all the things the survey didn’t ask about (like the boo-coos of fabric I’ve got stashed away).

The numbers get worse.  There are nearly 30 MILLION people trapped in modern day slavery.  Forced labor and human trafficking is a $32 BILLION a year industry.  It’s happening on every continent.  It’s embedded into the production of goods from every corner of the market.  The food we eat.  The clothes we buy.  The electronics we love.  The sports we play.  The beauty products we use.  Almost everything is influenced by slave labor at some point.

The problem comes from a lack of transparency in the supply chain, and it appears that most companies have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to the manufacturing processes their products go through.  Let’s use that fabric I love so much as an example.  I buy it from a retailer, who gets it from a manufacturer, who prints their designs on plain cotton fabric from a factory in China or India, who gets their cotton from fields in Uzbekistan, one of the largest cotton exporters in the world.  That’s all sounds fine and dandy, until learning that over 2 million children in Uzbekistan are forced to pick cotton to meet the government-imposed production quotas.  Any one of those children could be counted in the 34 slaves that are working for me.  

Of course, we would all agree that this is unacceptable.   But am I being too harsh to just assume that my fabric is supplied through forced labor?  And if it is, who’s to blame?  Surely a company wouldn’t willing source unethical product, right?  So I sent several US-based manufacturing companies an email asking what they had to say about their own supply chains.  Only one company responded.  All they could tell me was that their fabric comes from China.  Things aren’t looking good.

So what can we do?  Organizations like Made in a Free World, Not for Sale, and End it Movement are trying to raise awareness of modern day slavery.  But awareness alone doesn’t implement change.  There must be a call to action.  A demand for products manufactured through fair labor practices.  As consumers, we can make our voice heard.  Supporting companies that are accountable to ethical manufacturing can begin to reform the marketplace.   We can join Made in a Free World in saying "Let’s get slavery out of our system!"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

scarlet hope.

You know how I love to turn college assignments into blog posts!  Here's another one for you, from a recent paper on Rahab.  (In case you're not familiar with how two Israelite spies find themselves in the hands of a Canaanite prostitute, you can find the story here).

Rahab was all wrong.  The wrong race.  The wrong gender.  The wrong profession.  She was a Canaanite.  She was a woman.  She was a whore.  She was marginalized, pushed to the fringes, literally living on the perimeter of her community. 

Rahab didn’t grow up in Sunday school, being taught all the right things to believe about God.  She may not have been able to recite the Ten Commandments or be familiar with what animal to sacrifice on what day for what sin.  But she did know a few things: She knew that Yahweh had given the Israelites the land and she knew that was a reason to be scared to death.  She knew that Yahweh had done incredible things already.  She knew that there was only one Yahweh.  And that he ruled over heaven and earth and everything else.  She knew that Yahweh valued all things hesed—mercy and faithfulness and kindness.  She knew enough to chose his side when two kingdoms knocked on her door.  And so he chose to use her.  Right where she was.  In the midst of her brothel.  He used her to keep his spies safe.  He used her to give Joshua another chance to make the right decision.  He used her to remind the Israelites of his faithfulness.  He used her to conquer Jericho.  He used her to bring the Messiah that would conquer Hades.  He used her to encourage Christ-followers across space and time to remain faithful.  

She had been used before.  In countless ways by countless men.  But that didn’t stop Yahweh from using her faith to bless His people and fulfill His promises.  He still chose her.  He absorbed her into the nation of Israel.  He gave her significance.  He redeemed and restored her.  And he gave her rest in his land.

The situation of many women (and men, if we're being honest) looks exactly like Rahab’s.  Enslaved by their circumstance.  Exploited in their weakness.  Ignored by society.  The situation of others looks nothing like Rahab’s.  They’re not all wrong.  In fact, they’re almost all right.  Almost.  But they still feel enslaved.  Exploited.  Ignored.

Like Rahab, we all mess up.  We let the world use us in countless ways.  We invite the Enemy in.  We sell ourselves over to him.  We let him strip us of our identity, our confidence, our freedom, our value.  And because we believe his lies, we convince ourselves that we belong in the dark corners of the perimeter. 

But we can, like Rahab, confess that Yahweh is sovereign Lord over all creation.  We can make a choice for radical change.  We can humble ourselves to Yahweh’s will so that he can draw us into himself.  We can we find redemption, restoration, and rest in him.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

time to wake up.

Meet my hero.  His name is Daddy.

A long time ago, I wrote this post explaining just a few of the reasons why I love him so-stinking-much.

Tonight the list gets longer.  Because today my Daddy faced his longest dream.  I won't go in to details.  It's not my dream to share.  And the details don't really matter as much as the fact that (today) my Daddy faced them.

"Facing" isn't a posture we typically associated with "dreams."  It seems to fit more naturally with things we want to avoid.  Like fears.  Consequences.  Disturbing facts.  Ugly truth.  But there is a dark side to all our dreams that is easy to avoid.  Dreams are scary.  They force us to move away from what is comfortable.  Engage the unknown.  Embrace risk.  Make ourselves vulnerable to the embarrassment of failure.  Sometimes it's just easier to live with the delicious ambiguity of our dreams than to actually take the step toward making them come true.  Sometimes we've been holding on to a dream for so long that the thought of losing it to reality is too much to handle.  Sometimes dreams are so fantastic and outrageous that we resign ourselves to the fact that that's all they'll ever be... dreams.

Like I said, dreams are scary.

Today my Daddy was brave.  Today he faced his dream.  Today he woke up and made his dream reality.  I am so proud of him.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

dye this.

When I was younger (like last year and all the years before), I totally missed the point of Easter.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know... it's about Jesus dying on the cross for me and the fairy tale ending of the resurrection.  And eggs! And bunnies! And chocolate! And pretty new dresses!  Honestly, waking up to a basket the Easter bunny left and finding the most eggs in the hunt after church kinda over-shadowed that first part.

Until this year.

My faith is changing.  Slowly, my Creator is bringing me to a new understanding of my relationship with Him.  But all this talk about being blue and treasured and righteous hinges on one single moment in history.  The resurrection.

It's not enough to believe that I was made by God.  Or that He loves me.  Or even that He sent His only Son to die for me.  Don't get me wrong, all of that stuff is important.  It's just not the point.  In fact, without the resurrection, it's actually all point-less.  Without the resurrection, Christ's perfection is wasted on the grave.  Without the resurrection, Christ's sacrifice is noble, but insufficient.  Without the resurrection, sin and death win the battle for my soul.

But the resurrection changes everything.  The power of Death died the moment Christ rose from the tomb.  By conquering Death once and for all, Christ sealed a new future for all who believe in Him.  He became the Way to this relationship I've been talking about.  His perfection becomes my perfection.  His sacrifice becomes my sacrifice.  His resurrection becomes my resurrection.  His life becomes my life.

The old is gone.  The new is here.  Praise God!

At the death of death
where love and justice kiss
We were born to sin
and only you forgive
In your final breath
grace and mercy win
At the death of death
You died and rose again

(The Death of Death, Charlie Hall Band)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Last semester, I wrote a paper on Romans 6.  After reading and re-reading and researching and writing and wrestling with what I thought I understood, something began to change:

I used to think that Jesus was blue and I was red and that when God looked at me (through Christ) he saw me as purple, a mixture of the perfection of Christ with my complete inadequacy.  But after studying Romans 6 and the implications it has for new life and freedom from sin, it’s clear that I was mistaken.  That mixed state of purple doesn’t exist.  Because of my union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, I’ve been made perfect.  I’ve been completely redeemed.  That means that when God looks at me, all he sees is the new creation that I am in Christ.  I’m completely blue.  My old red self is dead.  Wiped out.  No hint of it remains. 

My only response then, is to live my new life as he intended.  I’ve already been released from the power of sin, so why do I continue to live like I’m controlled by it?  Satan knows that if he can convince me that the chains are still there, then I will live my life in fear of sin, afraid of messing up, afraid of falling back into that old life that separated me from God.  He tries to convince me that new life only exists as a future promise, that it only applies to the eternal, that the only way for me to get there is to be as “good” as possible, to prove that I really belong.  Even though he’s already been defeated, he tries to hold me down under the power of sin for as long as he can.  He tries to keep me from experiencing the fullness of my new life in Christ that is available to me now. 

So I sit there, with my hands behind my back.  Believing that I'm shackled to my sin.  Wasting energy defending myself against an unarmed assailant.  Wasting time waiting for a future life of freedom that has already been offered.  Being free from sin isn’t about always choosing to not do “bad” things.  If I’m being “good” but living in fear of the “bad” (or even of not being “good” enough), then I’m allowing sin to remain in control.  I’m not living my freedom.  I’m not living the new life that has already been given to me. 

Being alive to God in Christ is about claiming my color.  It’s about living like I know who I belong to.  I am blue.  I am God’s.  On the cross.  In the grave.  Resurrected.  Now.  Forever.  Sin has no power over me.  Full stop.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shrieks and squeals don't even cover the half of it.

I'm having an excitement breakdown!!!  Seriously, I'm a total basket-case of squeals and shivers and spontaneous tears.  I shot awake at 4am this morning and haven't calmed down since.  Figured I may as well try and get some school work done.  Instead, I spent an hour stalking my own sisters on Facebook and getting more and more excited about stepping off the plane in 65 HOURS!!!

Oh, and that paper I should be working on... couldn't concentrate.  Too.  Much.  Excitement.  But I did manage to write a list of all things that keep distracting me from doing what needs to be done:

*hugs.  hugs.  and more hugs.
*mexican food.
*petting my wonderful-monster-of-a-dog.
*sitting on the couch with my Daddy.
*meeting Mooly for lunch.
*the quilting store.
*sonic happy hour.
*decorating the christmas tree.
*sitting on the couch with my sisters.
*all the places i get to go... Lubbock, Searcy, Atlanta, Tuscaloosa.
*all the people i get to worship with... at Highland Oaks, at University, at Passion.
*all the conversations i get to have... about God's faithfulness, about his love, about how blessed i am to see his mighty hand sweeping people toward himself.
*sitting on the couch with my bestest friends.
*my birthday.
*spending that birthday and christmas with my family-in-person, instead of with my-family-on-skype.
*more mexican food.
*lunch with Betsy.
*more fabric.
*doing a little sewing on a Bernina, with that awesome knee-bar i love so much.
*walking my wonderful-monster-of-a-dog.
*the right side of the road.
*hobby lobby.
*more hugs.
*more happy hour.
*sunday morning bagels at einstein's.
*drinking coffee with my sisters.
*shopping for jeans and knowing what size to grab.
*turbo fire and bodypump and crossfit and sweating with my sisters.
*more mexican food.
*more sitting on the couch with my daddy.  or in his office. or in starbucks.
*more places, more people, more conversation, more worship.

Only 64.5 hours left!!!

One more thing I'm super-excited about: electrical outlets in the bathroom!  i just might accidentally electrocute myself with giddiness.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dissatisfaction: When Culture distorts Creation

The following is a very brief excerpt from not-so-brief paper on "consumerism" I recently wrote for my Faith in Contemporary Culture class at the Irish Bible Institute.  I hope reading it challenges you as much as writing it did me.  Spoiler alert: it may cause you to re-think The List you sent Santa :)

God created humanity to consume.  Not even our most basic needs can be met without consuming external resources.  We need air to breath.  We need food to eat.  We need to consume to survive.  All of these processes remind us that we are not self-sufficient.  We cannot sustain our own existence.  We need outside help.  This speaks to the very core of our divine purpose.  God designed us to desire something greater than ourselves, something that can only be satisfied through a relationship with him.  But as a result of the fall, humanity’s first reach for self-reliance and instant gratification, our desires become misplaced.  We begin to search for the restoration of our lost satisfaction in material things, all the while drifting further away from the abundant life offered through the consumption of our Creator.

We trade-in God for the newest thing on the market.   We allow our desires to be manipulated and our identities to be distorted by the every-increasing yearning for more stuff.  We chase significance through material possession, becoming distracted from the promise of total fulfillment in God.  Our constant dissatisfaction makes us incapable of enjoying abundance in him.    

Finding fulfillment in the richness of our Creator provides a way for Christians to begin reversing the shifts caused by consumerism.  We can return from individualism to community.  From selfishness to sacrifice.  From consumption to discipleship.  In this way we become more than consumers, we become producers, “active and creative participants in the material world” finally realizing “our true vocation as sharers in the creative activity of God."

Friday, December 7, 2012

You can never go home again

What a horrifying thought!

I bought my plane ticket home on July 16th.  That was 144 days ago.  More than 20 weeks.  Almost 5 months.  I thought December 13th would never come!  I tried not to think about it too much.  Time never passes quickly when you think about it.  Excitement can make time hard to ignore.  Somehow, I did it though.  December 13th is only 6 days away!  Instead of weeks and months, I can finally count hours and minutes and heartbeats (approximately 570,800 in case you're wondering, although excitement does make my heart beat faster, so that number may spontaneously increase).

All I need to do is finish writing two papers for school.  That's all that stands between me and the joy of home.  So why can't I write them?  I've never been one for getting things done early, I've always preferred the last-minute.  But this feels different.  This doesn't feel like procrastination.  It feels more like hiding.

Then my Daddy sent me a picture of a sleeping Dakota.  The Dakota I left behind a year and a half ago when I came to Ireland.  The Dakota that I can't pet through Skype.  The Dakota that I can't wait to see in 6 days.  And the tears started pouring down my face.  What if my heart can't handle it?  All this excitement and joy and love for Home that I've been holding inside for so long.  Suddenly, 6 weeks at Home doesn't seem like long enough.

And then a rush of What If's overwhelms me:
What if I can't let go of my Daddy's neck at the airport?
What if Dakota isn't over-the-moon-pee-in-your-pants excited to see me?
What if I don't have time to see everyone I miss?
What if Mexican food doesn't taste as good as I remember?
What if I forget to drive on the right side of the road?
What if I can't say goodbye a second time?
What if I don't want to come back to This-Home-Here?

So I'm hiding behind 2 unwritten papers.  They're the only thing separating me from the excruciating mix of excitement and fear that is wreaking havoc on this heart of mine.  This heart that longs for Home.  This heart that's afraid Home won't be Home anymore.

But my heart cannot condemn me because my Creator is greater than my heart.  He knows everything.  And my heart is set at rest in His presence.  I belong to His truth.  He's enough Home for me. (I John 3:19-21)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rantings of a crazy heart.

It's late.  Almost 2 AM.  I've been trying to do better.  I took my melatonin.  I turned off the computer.  I put my phone on "shhhhhh."  I had tea bags on my eyes.  It's all part of my bed-time-routine.

Well, apparently my brain didn't get the bed-time memo.  Apparently my brain wants to go for a rant.  So much for the routine.  It's time to let the rage out.

Time to point some fingers at a hypocrite.  Yep, I'm talking to me.  Over here.  And not because I'm up past my bed-time.

I've spent the last more-than-several hours working on an essay about leadership.  The assignment said I needed to pick a biblical character to use as a case-study.  I picked Esther.  I figured it'd be good choice... you know, woman-to-woman-wise.  I've been writing about how important it is for a leader to have a personal identity firmly established in Christ.  It kinda goes hand in hand with that segullah soap-box I tend to shout from. 

So that's what I was thinking about when I was trying to fall asleep.  Then it hit me.  Am I living that way?  Does my life and attitude and character scream "TREASURED!!!"?

No.  It doesn't.  If it did, I wouldn't be riddled with guilt.  Not big guilt.  Just pesky guilt.  Like somebody shot me in the leg with a round of "guilt pellets."  It didn't kill me.  I didn't even lose my leg.  But now I walk a little funny.  And every now and then, I can feel those pesky-pellets that I never bothered to remove.

My head knows I'm treasured.  My head knows my Creator delights in me.  But somehow, my heart doesn't always know the same things as my head.  That's where things like body image and success and future like to set-up camp.  In that little dark space of disconnect between my head and my heart.  And they feed on the pesky guilt.  And then they start to grow.  Into big Lies. 

Lies say my body should look different.  Guilt says it's my fault it doesn't.  Afterall, if I went to the gym and quit eating all that yummy stuff, then it could.

Lies say success should be a certain way.  Guilt says it's my fault it isn't.  Afterall, if I'd just put a little more time and effort into things, they'd be better. 

Lies say my future is when everything'll finally get worked out.  Guilt says it's my fault is hasn't already.  Afterall, today is yesterday's future, and it feels pretty much the same as the day before.

No wonder there's no room for all that stuff my head knows.  There's too many flippin' Lies wandering around.  That's why, tonight, my head needs to rant.  Really loud.  So my heart can hear it over the noise of all the Lies.  So that I can be still and know.  He is God.  My Creator.  And I am his Segullah.  His most-treasured-one. 

No matter what Lies and Guilt say.

Monday, July 30, 2012

MVP: A lesson in ancient vocabulary

Segullah.  Most valuable possession.  One tiny Hebrew word.  Packed with so much significance.  The single answer to that cliche question: If your house was burning down and you could only grab one thing, what would it be?  Segullah.

The house was on fire.  Hot flames.  Thick smoke.  I was trapped in fear and darkness.  But my Creator came back for me.  He rescued me from eternal destruction.  He claimed me as His segullah.  I am His treasured possession.  He has proven it over and over.  He set His affection on me.  He loves me.  He chooses me.  He fights in my defense and defends my fight.  He pursues my heart.  He protects me in the midst of my carelessness.  He remaines faithful through my unfaithfulness.  He continually refuses to let me go despite my wandering.  He draws me ever closer to Him.  He encamps around me.  He hems me in.  He treasures me because I am His segullah.
Last week, I spent 9 days surrounded by 9-16 year-old-girls at Camp Shamrock.  Some of them believe in God.  Some of them don't.  But my desire was the same for each of them.  That in every conversation, every word they heard me say, they would be sure of this one thing: they are treasured.  Chosen.  Loved.  Wanted.  Cherished.  They are His segullah.  Created to be valued.

Yahweh your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his TREASURED POSSESSION. --Deut. 7:6

But you a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's SPECIAL POSSESSION, that you may declare the praises of him that called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light. --1 Pet. 2:9

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth of July... Emerald Isle style

I gotta admit that celebrating the 4th of July in Ireland was possibly more fun than celebrating in the USA (despite the lack of spectacular displays of patriotic pyrotechnics, of course).  To get in an independent-frame-of-mind, I ate a PB&J sandwich with my firecracker nails.  And made a couple of red, white, and blue fruit pizzas for the big party Shay and Juli hosted.  I even wore one of Denise's aprons.  I feel like a cupcake... sans sprinkles.

The fruit pizzas, along with burgers, hot dogs, apple pie, and a friendly game of whiffle ball were enjoyed by this group of folks.  Though the Americans were definitely in the minority, we had a great time sharing our favorite cultural past times with all our Irish, German, Polish, Hungarian, Argentine, and Cuban friends.

In an attempt to share the holiday love with my sisters, I created little 4th of July inspired WeeMee versions of them.  Oh, they're so adorable... just like my real-life sisters.