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Archive for July, 2009

A broken fragrance.

I am utterly wrapped up in a season of refining fire right now.

I’ve faced it at every corner and in every direction. All this crap and garbage and nonsense has somehow sifted its way to the top, into the obvious, into the open.

And He has been burning it out of my life, one painful moment at a time.

The past few months have just been odd. One kind of drama after another, roadblock after dilemma after frustration. 

It’s exhausting.

And refining.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such a strong sense of refining in my life. At every corner, I have felt a strong sense of the Lord’s calling to complete and timely obedience.  It’s like my eyes have been opened to all the depravity and nastiness of my own heart because of the hundreds of times a day that I totally blow it. And removing the garbage has felt both sacrificial and painful at times.

But in the midst of the refining fire, I have been overwhelmed at the evidence of God’s sweet favor. For every instance of drama, there has been a word of encouragement from an unexpected acquaintance. For every frustration, there has been an alternative solution that only God could orchestrate. And for every dilemma, I’ve found something sweet in the Word to confirm the exact step I should take.

Intense refinement. Sweet favor.

My mind has been stuck tonight on the passage in John 12 that talks about Mary pouring the expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus, cleaning his feet with her hair. It seems like kind of an odd thing to do, and the humility required to do something so lavish and awkward is something that I feel like I can identify with more and more in seasons like this one. She was broken enough to pour herself out at his feet, submitting to the refining fires.

And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (verse 3)

Her brokenness was marked by a sweet fragrance of surrender, His refining process marked by sweet evidence of His favor. I’ll be glad when this season of intense refining is complete, but until then, the fragrance of brokenness in my life is overwhelmed by the sweet, sustaining favor of the Lord in each of my days right now.

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A few updates…

Well, I *think* I’m about done with this blogging hiatus. My mind has started to work in blog posts again, and as soon as I get a few real minutes to think, I definitely have at least one post coming.

In the mean time, there are a few updates worth noting.

1. I’m ONE PAPER away from graduating! It’s due next weekend, so I’m counting down the pages until I can add the M.A. after my name.

2. My best friend Tiffanie is moving to Colorado Springs and moving in with me. I posted about her here, and the idea that we’re going to be friends that live in the same place makes me smile just about every time I think about it.

3. I’ve made a goal to do one new outdoor adventure every week this summer. So far, so good. I’ve been…

To Mt. Kill-Me the Incline. One mile 41-68% grade. Stairmaster from hell. But totally worth it.

incline

To the overlook…

Natalie's Pictures 489

And to the Crags (my favorite so far)…

Natalie's Pictures 538

4. And by popular request…Aspen is almost full-grown and is becoming quite the little diva. I’m still obsessed. She’s just too cute!

Natalie's Pictures 586

Natalie's Pictures 583

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So I’ve been THISCLOSE to deleting my blog in recent weeks. Haven’t felt like writing. Feel slightly obligated to write at least weekly to keep some sort of significance and readership.

I am getting tired of social media.

So I joined Twitter.

No, really. I can’t believe I did it either.

I’ve sworn it off at least a hundred times. It’s totally lame. And ego-centric. And no one cares about the meaningless things I do to fill my days.  But then I watched a friend get text after text updating her on our friends’ lives…and I felt left out. So I joined. Because who wants to be left out of something that helps people stay connected?

Two days later…and I think I’m actually going to like it. I’m the only person I know around here with Twitter…so I’m either going to be the laughing stock of the church staff, or (as I’d prefer to think) I’m expanding our ministry network one tweet at a time.

Found this diagram today. Thought it was completely appropriate. I’m the victim of ego-centric, stalker-ish narcissism. The first two days have been fun. The long term outlook is yet to be determined.

SocialMediaVenn

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