Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yesterday, Today, and Forever

I will shamelessly admit the fact that until about three years ago I had no idea that Maria Von Trapp was a real person. I thought she was just another Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, or Alice In Wonderland. She was a beautiful person, but nothing more than fiction.

I was living in Austin Texas and spending the day with dear friends. As I walked through Millie's house I noticed a pile of books. A very large pile of books, and if you know anything about me, you know I LOVE books, so of course I went over to look. On the top of the stack was a book titled, "Yesterday, Today, and Forever" by Maria Von Trapp. I stared at it as if it were an alien. It was like seeing a book written by Casper or Aladdin. I was dumbfounded. I picked it up and without hesitation asked about it. Millie said her aunt bought it for her and left it at that. It didn't seem to alarm her that her aunt bought her a book written by a fictional character. It was insane.

I asked to borrow it and as soon as I was alone and with a computer I googled her. Her story was true, the adventure real, and her God--amazing. I was SO excited. I mean, legitimately excited. I LOVED Maria Von Trapp. Julie Andrews creates such a strong, powerful, understanding yet sensitive person in the movie, you can't help but be moved by her. She is part of who I would love to become in this life.

I started the book and through the following pages I began to see my Savior through very different eyes. Maria has a way of making the world disappear and the world of Jesus come more alive. She loves our Lord more than anyone I've read. I mean, she really really loves Him. She loves Him like a bride loves her betrothed. She loves Him the way we are all called to love Him. She thinks about Him, imagines about Him, weeps for Him, and lives out His love in very tangible and authentic ways. I was so moved by her book, and my walk with Christ found new depth in her passion.

I recently introduced my roommate Elizabeth to the movie and explained how it was a true story and how Maria loves Jesus so intimately. This urged me to find my own copy of the book, not only to read it again, but to let Elizabeth read it.

Through reading it again I am overwhelmed with gladness at finding someone so true. She is so unashamed of her childlike wonder for our God. It is humbling and inspiring, and I know that this is a book I will continue to revisit for the rest of my life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I am reading a book and I had to stop and pause when I read this,

"One of the great tragedies of American Christian young women is our total preoccupation with self. In my book _____ I wrote about the danger of the popular self-esteem message for women, which teaches that our own heart is good and encourages us to live to our true self and inhabit our own beauty. Not only is this a nonbiblical concept (we have no true eternal beauty outside of the beauty of Jesus Christ, and we only bring Him glory by dying to self, not living to it)..."

(please go back and read this a couple times before continuing on just to make sure you really grasp what she is saying)

I'm not sure how this struck you, but, it struck me wrong. Like a slap in the face. Not all of this is out of place (to me, mind you, this is my opinion, just like that is hers). I understand that a misguided skewed focus on self is not good, but to say that we are worth nothing, and our beauty is insignificant without Christ is to diminish God's masterpiece within us. After all, didn't God make us as as humans before Christ died to save us--before sin was even in the picture?

I believe that within each of us is a beautiful work of art (Psalm 139) handcrafted and beautifully mastered by the most gifted and talented artist of all--God. To say that His creation is not beautiful in and of itself is to diminish His ability to make beauty.

I believe that if we focus too much on outer things, we miss the mystery of ourselves. To focus too much on ourselves we miss the beauty in others. Christ does redeem us, His forgiveness brings us back to a wonderful right standing with our Creator, but even without Christ we are mysterious masterpieces birthed from God's imagination.

Although people misuse their giftings, or allow their beauty to be misused, it doesn't mean that it's not there. Even without Christ the very creation speaks of a maker in it's beauty and gifting.

She says it's wrong to "live to our true self and inhabit our own beauty." Why? If God is the author of our true self and Maker of our beauty then doesn't searching and finding ourselves bring glory to Him? Doesn't fulfilling who He made us to be, which takes long periods of self searching, bring Him glory? To look past what He has made within us is to slap our maker in the face, I believe. He made us different, unique, beautiful for a reason--to bring glory and honor to the master Artist.

here are just a few verses on Him being our Maker:

Psalm 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker

Ecclesiastes 11:5
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Isaiah 44:24
“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by

In this book she also says, "we only bring Him glory by dying to self, not living to it." I understand that God instructs us to not think too highly of ourselves, to humble ourselves and have sober judgment.

I may be rambling now, but I am a firm believer that God has a plan unique and wonderful for us all (Jeremiah 29:11) and that he wrote down every single day we would live before we even breathed the first one (psalm 139) and that He as maker and designer pieced us together in our mother's womb (Psalm 139) and knows every hair on our heads. I think to deny the fact that within us lies pieces of God Himself, within His handiwork are clues and answers to our life and our purpose, to deny that without Christ, we as His masterpieces are not worthy to be called beautiful--in a way I see this as almost blasphemous.

I'm not sure if my point is accurately being communicated, or if even right now you are cringing at my very words, but with Christ we rise to the beauty that is eternal, forever, we are made perfect--back in Eden with no tarnish, nothing lacking--but without Christ the very fact that we are made by God makes us beautiful and worthy.

After all we were worth Him dyeing for before we were made Holy through His death.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello Trek

It's 3:53 and I can't sleep. Ofcourse, I was asleep--until about 2. Working third shift has got my sleeping all out of sorts. It doesn't bother me, my best work is done at night. Which, is quite unfortunate since my best sleep is done at night as well.

An amazing thing happened the other day. I've been talking about pushing myself forward, making choices that define me, figuring out who I am so that I can better live my life and serve God. Well, I bought a bike. Not just any bike, but a real road bike. It's amazing.

It's a Trek 1.5 T WSD 50 Plumage 10. What all that means, I'm not sure. I rode it around the parking lot of The Great Escape for about thirty minutes if not more trying to figure out if I liked it. It's last years model so it was marked down 250. My work is hosting a cycling program and has offered to pay 240 on a bike, so... let's just say that I got a $1,100 bike for about $610. INCREDIBLE.

I took it out yesterday. I didn't go far, just up and down the road in front of my house. I have to figure out the gears before I go off and try and travel in traffic. I don't want to kill myself. My dad said that the most important place to start is making sure I can stop. I laughed, but had to agree.

Already my butt is killing me, or rather, I should say, my "sit bones" are killing me. They are bones you don't realize you have until you sit on the tiniest seat (they call it a saddle) and hit bumps and climb hills for long periods of time. It's going to get worse before it gets better, I'm told. How exciting! ... Not.

What I am excited about, though, is this great new part of my life! I need to lose weight, and this will help. I need to find friends, and this will also help. I need something productive to fill my time--well, here ya go. I need a way to push myself physically. I feel that cycling is going to be a great investment in my life and future, and I am very excited!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have decided to make myself a pledge, and in this way I will free myself. I have decided to call off boys. The talking about them, thinking about them, eagerness to talk to them, until the end of the summer. Granted, when I say boys, I really just mean the one I'm interested in. I don't go around dreaming and thinking of tons of boys. hahaha.

In this way I have promised myself a time of focus. I will focus on me. Where I need to go with God, what I need to process through. I will focus on my paintings--I have a lot to learn in this area and I finally have tons of time to do it. I will focus on my writing--an area of my life which I love, but I am horribly lacking in.

I have realized I have so much to offer the world, myself, and God, but I don't focus on it. I don't work with it to make it better, and because I do this, I am doing a disservice to us all. Not that I'm all fabulous and the only one who is amazing. We all are--if we push ourselves to be completely ourselves. If we aren't pushing then we are all doing a disservice to everyone else.

So, I've made myself a pledge to push. A pledge to stop spending wasted effort on guys or self loathing, on watching a zillion movies and doing nothing. I pledge to push myself to figure out myself, to make the world better because of what I put into it. I pledge to be creative and spend time with people who make me feel great about myself. I will open up and really try and get to the root.

The root is where it's at.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i am lovely

In this silence I can hear myself think. The low gentle humm goes in and out like a deep breath that gives life. The rumble and melody of my fingers against the keyboard is like a song so gentle and sweet.

I had a talk today with a very dear friend of mine--Kristie Koll. She is one of the rarities in life--a true friend, to the core, to the quick. I know she would die for me, and I would die for her, and to me, that's what makes a friend a real true friend.

She gets to me in ways no other friend can. God uses her to speak to me, so quick, so clean, like a piercing dagger stretching to the bottom of my heart. Through a conversation that lasted an hour and a half God used her voice to open my eyes to see that I need to do a little journeying. I need to take a walk within myself. I need to notice every nook and cranny. I need to see myself the way God made me, not the way I made me--not how I, with my skewed pathetic view, see myself, but how God Almighty with love and care, and intricate design, sees me.

I began a painting tonight. I am painting what I think God sees when He looks at me. Not the me that is skin and flesh, mostly pink with a little yellow. Not the me that is scarred by life's cruelty, it's repeating hatred and scorn. But I am painting the me that God, in a moment of true brilliance, spilled forth in my mother's belly. The me that was brand new, the me that will be again once I die, the me that lies within this flesh, shrouded always by humanity. I am painting the me inside me. It's invisible to my eyes, but there. It is beautiful, and soft, holy, and happy.

I have never before painted anything close to this. I've always painted things that were about other people, other issues, other, other, other. I have chosen to paint things detached from who I am. I did this unconsciously. I didn't realize I was avoiding me. I was too scared to paint me. What would you see when you saw it? You would hate it, I hated it, and I knew that if the world saw it they would burn it. They would burn the most precious part of who I am. That little treasure of self that sits inside, barely known to even you, it is so secret and beautiful--how could I share that without fear of it being torn to shreds and corrupted forever. Safer to keep it hidden, my subconscious told me.

But now, through God's revelation, I realize what I have done. I realize that through fear I have let myself be buried. I realize through trepidation I have resolved to only show shades and hints of who I am, testing the ground to see if matches have been laid.

I am learning. I am learning how to find myself and when I do to show others who I am. I am beautiful. I am honored. I am cherished, ravishing, and lovely.

I will paint this. I will paint this for you. I will paint this for me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

the harlot

I have this problem.

I call it my harlot heart. It's not something I like about myself, and even though I try and change it--somehow it never seems to go away.

Outside of emotion and longing, I know without a doubt that the love of God is the most incredible, amazing, trustworthy, never failing, beautiful love I will ever have. It fills me up to the top and spills over making my heart, and my life, and my dreams come alive in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. It is part of what keeps me content, it refocuses me, grounds me, gives me purpose. It's priceless--and it's mine, forever!

Some days this love, so rich and true and deep, is enough for me. In truth, it is always enough, but some days I don't feel like it is. Some days I want a love story in this world, this life time, so bad I cry. My heart seems so lonely and sad, my dreams unfinished, parts of myself are abandoned by the rest of humanity, and I sit alone wondering if I will ever take part in a love story of my own.

Weddings and babies pour through my homepage. I am genuinely happy for these people. They deserve it, just like I do, and they've got it. They've got precious people to hold onto for the rest of their lives. People that everyday play a part in their story of life, bringing joy and depth, sorrow and kinship. I long for a love story, but mostly I long for someone to be in my life--with purpose, passion, sincerity, and loyalty.

As I live, with part of me waiting--the part that will love like a wife, and care like a mother--I feel like a harlot to my God. I know I could die today and never care that I never married or had children, but as long as my life rumbles around this world, part of humanity, part of existing, I will always long for it.

I pray that the days where the love of God is stronger than this desire will outnumber the days where I feel the vacancy so strong it hurts. I feel complete when I'm not paying it any attention.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

to Eire divine

There's something you must know about me. I'm Irish. I wish I had been born there, raised there, had the accent, the issues, the homeland--all of it. On my father's side I'm from the O'Callahans, irish catholic royalty. On my mother's side I'm from the McKeowns, also irish catholic, but not royalty.

Although I have this heritage, the names, the blood, I don't have the homeland. Something deep within me misses it, yearns for it. One day I will go there. I will probably hug a tree, kiss the ground, and keep rocks in my pockets. I love it like you'd love the old house you grew up in, with all it's history and stories. With all the memories and treasures. I love it like a dream of something I once knew.

In my desperate attempt to be Irish, I read books, buy claddagh rings, irish knot rings, listen to old irish folk music, basically digest anything and everything humanly possible having to do with Ireland.

Most recently I read this book:

It is fantastic! Although the lady on the cover looks sadly more manly than she should, the book is filled with incredible stories of daring women, bold and sexy, willing to face death, women who stood up for what they believe in. These women are in some way my mother. They are the line I come from, the heritage I love, the sassiness within me (or lack of tact). I love these women, and I hope that someday I can look back on my life and know that I did a little of what they did.

I'm glad to be Irish with all it's tactlessness, passion, sincerity, charm, and charisma. The Irish name for Ireland is Eire.

To Eire is human, to Eire divine.