Saturday, February 04, 2012

Winter Baptism

I hate winter, but find myself succumbing to it in spite of all of my protests and fighting. There is no way to push back the seasons or to turn back time. To go back to the Spring and the Summer. Back to your arms. To long talks about everything that mattered and some things that didn't. To you asking me what I was thinking in those quiet moments in the dark with only the sound of your heart beating and the gentle rhythm of your breathing breaking through the silence. There is a place in my heart that longs for a return to those days. Those moments of life with you. When nothing else mattered and the rest of the world faded to grey. Only you and I were in color. Now those moments return only in haunting flashbacks filled with grief for what was lost - not only you, but also a part of myself. And I feel the shift beneath my feet and hear the cracking of the ice. My hands search for yours to pull me out in rescue. Then in an instance understanding washes over me as I surrender to the icy waters pulling me into their depths. You are gone and I am drowning. Left by myself to deal with the pain exploding in my chest like bombs unleashing their destruction. Cold water floods my lungs and I feel my body sinking, longing to find the bottom where I can rest and let the weight of the water and ice crush me into nothingness, but the agony lasts a while longer as I freeze and fall. Finally, my decent is over. Lying on that ocean floor under a heavy blanket of darkness I am trapped. Held captive by the volume of the memories we made. They stab at me with sharp preciseness. So I endure their attack and try to hold on until the waves subside. I find myself welcoming the winter freeze that is holding me tightly in its grip, drawing the warmth and life from me like poison from a wound. This is where my heart lies buried and broken. Beneath the desolate reaches of winter. The howling winds on the surface whipping snow around in useless flurries like mocking laughter across a barren plain. Surrounded by all this death and brokenness and futility, there is one thought that will not be choked out by the rushing floods of water into lungs or the pressure of all that was lost or the thick darkness that blocks out the sun or the weight of the reality that is all encompassing. One thought that will not allow winter have the last laugh: Spring is coming.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You Are Mine

maybe i don't have the strength
maybe i don't have the faith
you brought me here in forty years
when i know this trip should take a week
i've shed my tears and shed my blood
been outran some by the flood
and winter steals my songs away
in all of this i've come undone

when you walk through the water
i will be with you
when you pass through the river
those waves they will not overtake you
when you walk on the fire
those flames they will not touch you
you are mine
you are mine

i've been a child
i've been a slave
and i've grown bitter
and learned to pray
i've packed my bags and started back
the cost is just too high to pay

when you walk through the water
i will be with you
when you pass through the river
the waves they will not overtake you
when you walk on the fire
those flames they will not touch you
you are mine
you are mine.

you are mine.
(by karla adolphe)

Someday my heart won't hurt so much and I won't be so broken...

...but not today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peru: How it all started

So, I sorta sprang the whole trip to Peru thing on everyone without any details. Now I'll go back and fill you all in briefly and in my own words on how it all began.

The missions pastor at my church in Greeley has a connection with a pastor in Lima, Peru. The vision of the work in Peru is all about raising up leaders and sending them out to plant more churches, not so much about building a mega-church situation. Anyway, about 3 or so years ago, when Zoe's was being renovated, Phil (Zoe's pastor) took a missions trip down to Lima to help out a new church that had been planted in Cruz del Norte by Pastors Benjamin and Anita. During that trip, Phil and the team shared about what we were building with Zoe's. Anita mentioned that her family had a coffee farm and gave Phil a couple of pounds of green coffee beans. These beans needed roasting and Phil gave it his best shot after reviewing several "how-to" videos on Youtube. This first shot at amateur coffee roasting turned out to be a bust, but it also became the inspiration that led to last summer's coffee roaster purchase and the start of roasting at Zoe's. The vision for coffee roasting at Zoe's is not simply about being trendy. It is about establishing direct trade relationships with our coffee farmers in order to provide them with a more fair price for their coffee. The connection with Pastors Benjamin and Anita in Peru seemed like the perfect place to start this next phase of the Zoe's journey. Phil arranged for an exploratory trip and 23 people volunteered to join him on an advenuture to Anita's family farm in Palomar near Villa Rica, Peru.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Faithful? Are you sure?

Tonight as I was wasting a bit of time on Facebook, I noticed the status of a friend of mine. Apparently her dogs had gotten loose, but had been found after prayer and searching or friendly neighbors or something. Which is great. A relief for sure. Anyway, something in her post struck me. She mentioned how it was, "another reminder from our Father that He cares for things dear to our hearts." Which again, is great. And I don't have a problem with that. At all. Honest. But it got me thinking. What about all the things/people dear to my heart that He hasn't returned. No, they haven't been returned at all. More like ripped from me at times. Painfully. Irretrievably. What are those instances and circumstances supposed to remind me of? That He doesn't care about the things dear to my heart? That I haven't prayed enough or with enough faith? That really they were idols in my heart that needed pruning out anyway? I am thankful for the reminders He gives me. For the items and people returned or whatever it is that shows me He hears me. That He sees me. That He cares for me. But sometimes the dog gets run over. And it sucks. That doesn't change the truth of Him caring for what is dear to my heart. This simple status update offering acknowledgement of God's goodness has provoked me to consider circumstances in my day. To remember that God isn't good and moving and working and faithful because my day goes well and my prayers get answered. He is good and moving and working and faithful because that is who He is. Period. My life, my circumstances are not the standard by which He is judged. Yet He is gracious to show me His faithfulness in my life in ways I can understand. Through friends who remind me of truth and who won't let me quit this struggle of faith and those who call and offer to take me shopping so we can catch up on life. And so many other ways. But I have to remember that God's goodness and character and faithfulness is not founded in my life, but in His life, His essence, His word.

"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights."
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting there from here...

So as you may or may not know, I am currently not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Last Wednesday I began my journey back to the Balkans. It has been 3 ½ years since I left Croatia and this is my first opportunity to return for a visit.

The days before my trip were busy with all of my preparations and goodbyes. It was a good time for me to reflect on the last few years and to see all that God has done. When I first came back to Colorado, I was tired, broken, disillusioned, discouraged, burned out and depressed. Add to that culture shock, living in my parents’ basement, no friends, no job and facing the long-over-due bitter end of a long-distance-doomed-from-the-beginning relationship. This is not to mention how angry and frustrated I was with God for doing or not doing certain things. There were so many questions without answers and nobody understood or cared. The first year was the worst. But thankfully, God provided a job and then friends and then hope. Looking back, I see His amazing faithfulness and love for me. Not because of what I had done or not done or believed or not believed, but because He is my Father and I am His daughter. Because He is the Lover of my soul. Because He is good. He gave me my friends and family…people who loved me and at least tried to understand (and even some who did understand). It took time, but He healed me and restored my hope and trust in Him. He is still doing those things. Some questions He answered and still others He didn’t. There are still struggles, don’t get me wrong. There are still moments of anger, frustration, and questioning. Thankfully now they are not so often as before.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Somebody I might actually WANT to vote for...

Friday, August 28, 2009


...even when the main root is gone, there is left behind an elaborate system of roots that takes time to remove. The process of removal is not as painful as the first, but there is still a tenderness revealed that is reminiscent of the initial heartache. Yet another area in deep need of healing and restoration is exposed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I might go study here...can you guess where it is?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I like to move it, move it!!

create your own visited country map