Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today was the day. I've seen the yearning in Mowgli to go explore the outdoors. And not just to walk around on a leash, but to have FREEDOM. So today was the day. I went out to clean my car and when Mowgli bolted for the door like usual, instead of pushing him back into the safe comforts of home, on a moment of impulse I let him run out. I've been scared of him not coming back, scared that there are too many big dogs around, scared that he doesn't recognize the dangers out there. But fears cripple the chance for living life fully and abundantly. Things might happen but it's time to let him go. I watched him tentatively walk around sniffing bushes until that last moment where I saw him disappear around the corner of the house. The moment of letting go...
God lets us go every day. We head out into the world, free to make our own decisions and go down whatever path we choose. And I'm sure there is a part of Him that stands there at the doorway, hoping that we will remember the things that He taught us, hoping that when things get rough we'll find the way back to Him. And for me, especially right now, I hope and pray earnestly that he will make that path clear to me and block off the others.
I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse! Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner. I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God, don't let me down! I'll run the course you lay out for me if you'll just show me how. - Psalm 119:25-32 (Message)
After an hour of trying to keep myself from worrying every time I heard dogs bark....I walked outside for the millionth time and saw Mowgli at a neighbor's door trying to scratch his way in. When I called him, he came bounding over to the right door and rubbed his cobweb-covered face all over me, little heart beating excitedly. He came back! But he is already meowing at the door again, unable to forget the exciting freedom outdoors so I think this will turn into a daily occurrence of trust :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Made To Love


Why do we love? I have been realizing over the last few days that I love because I want love back. I give because I want. Not just to give.

When I was visiting Loma Linda a couple weeks ago, the sermon I listened to at the University Church was about achieving perfection. What the pastor had to say really stuck with me. Matthew 5:48 says, "Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly father is perfect." So what does it mean to be perfect? Most of the time I think I fall into thinking it means sinless perfection. I often make lists of things I need to get done in the next few days. Lists of things to achieve. Lists of ways to make the most of my time. Thinking I should work at being better. And then I feel like a failure when I don't complete that list, or sometimes don't even finish one thing because I spend my time in a different way once the moment is there.

The path of sinless perfection leads to one of two results. Despair or pride. Despair that we will never reach it and always fall short. Or pride that we are becoming so good and giving such a great appearance of what a perfect life should be.

In his sermon, Randy Roberts brought up that the real definition of perfection isn't to be sinless, it is to fulfill the purpose of what we were made to be and do. So what is our purpose? Why did God make us and what purpose did he give us? He made us to LOVE. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect is to love like he loves. To love with no strings attached.

I've had a lot of people tell me over the last few weeks that this is my time to take care of myself and I've had a hard time deciding what that should look like. It's been easy to define taking care of myself as being careful. Being careful not to be hurt, being careful not to put anything out there that might get stomped on by the world. But I don't think that's what it should be. I feel like God hasn't created us to be careful and keep a safe shell around us. He created us with the ability to get out there and take risks with him by our side. And I am seeing how I want to be careful with my love. I don't want to love people if they don't give me love back. But God calls us to love like him, with nothing attached. So that is what I want to do right now. Learn to give without trying to get something out of it for myself. Without being filled with wanting my own hopes fulfilled.

Just because He made me to love.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not Me

I feel like a novice trying to figure my way through this break-up. I'd never broken up with anyone before. And that would be because I never dated anyone before this relationship. I guess there's a first time for everything. But it seems like there is almost a protocol to breaking up that many people want to share with me. Do this...don't do that. I feel stressed trying to decide what path I should be taking through this.

And the hardest realization I've had over the last few days is the feeling that I'm not myself anymore. It is so ironic. My boyfriend wanted to break up because he wasn't who he wanted to be anymore and felt like our relationship contributed to that. And now the break-up has made me into who I don't want to be. It once again feels so unfair that I seem to keep drawing the short straw of not getting what I wish or want. I know that is probably a selfish way to look at things. But I don't have the heart to even judge myself right now.

I no longer cook. This year I have had so much fun and joy in cooking, finding new recipes, experimenting. But it's so different not having someone to cook for. The joy is no longer there trying to make something just for myself. And it just brings up too many wonderful memories that are painful to remember.

And so the little that I do eat isn't even food I usually choose to eat. I'm eating stuff that makes me sick or that has no nutritional value at all. I'll buy produce and food at the grocery story with meals in mind, but once I get home I never want to make it. Food is sitting in my fridge and going bad. And that isn't me either. I don't waste food.

My kitchen can be a mess and I don't care. I have no motivation to clean pots or even to put away a cutting board after using it. I'm usually very obsessive-compulsive about my kitchen, having to clean everything immediately after using it and wiping all the counters clean from any little crumb. Now things just sit there, a constant reminder of my lack of motivation every time I walk by.

I hate the time alone with my thoughts so much that I try to drown it with anything that will occupy it. One evening last week I kept watching Greys Anatomy episodes...one after another. I would finish one and decide that I was still too awake and alert, so I'd start another. Over and over until I was exhausted enough to fall immediately asleep. I never used to sit and just watch TV, and I almost never kept up with any popular tv show. It's not me. I was the one who would just shrug when conversations came up about them.

I don't want to go do things outside. Even typing that sentence seems shocking. The outdoors has been my comfort zone for my entire life. Now I look outside at the sunny day and it just seems too happy to walk out and taint it with my sad feelings. That's not me. I love being outside.

As the work day ended this evening and my coworkers exchanged what they were looking forward to once they got home, the only thing I could come up with was, "I get to go home to my cat." Then I fought tears all the way home thinking about how pitiful it was that I'm just going home to my cat. And how much I deeply miss going home to someone, getting to talk through my day with someone special to me. And it is definitely not me to not want to be with my cat and to see my time with Mowgli as depressing.

I'm not me right now.

I've had really difficult experiences in the past. Really hard things. And some people tell me that I'm prone to these difficult things happening to me somehow. I've always believed in the verse where it says God won't give us more than we can bear, and I've always been able to bear it. But this feels like the limit. I want to plead with God, "no this one is too much. You mis-calculated this time! I wonder if I will ever not feel this physical pain, just smothering my chest every time I think about what has happened and how much I miss him.

But I do know that God hasn't changed from the God that brought me up and out of all those other hard experiences. I was maybe able to see the light in those experiences better than this one. But He's still the same God. And even if I'm completely blind with no light right now, He will still lead me out. That is what I'm trusting in. Even if I don't feel it. Because the same God who was with me then, is with me now. And the same God who led me in, will lead me out.

And maybe it's okay that I'm not me right now because ultimately I don't want to be me, I want to become Him. If I wasn't changing from the person I was a year ago, I wouldn't be growing. We'll see where he takes me...