Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jesus is a Friend of Mine

Nope, no video of singing 70's people, although that's still kind of hilarious.

Today I am thankful for the friendship of Jesus. "There is a friend who is closer than a brother..." I've come to one of those moments where you can tangibly feel the way the Lord is your Rock. I am thankful that I know that I know that I know that when I get off the plane in Tacoma, Jesus will be walking off with me. I'm thankful that there is no question about whether or not I'll be alone when I leave this familiar place; He promised to never leave me. I'm thankful that in the weeks where I'm adjusting to life in a whole new place, this one thing will be the same.

Jesus will still be Jesus. The Helper will hold me up, and He will walk beside me. Down the once-familiar streets, up the Olympic mountains, into the classrooms. Good things are coming. I'm going to put my fears to rest in His security, strap on my battle gear, and march forward, because is Jesus is with me; it doesn't get any better.

"The Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty one, who will save..." ~Zephaniah 3

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where We End Up

There are those people you remember forever because you loved them to pieces... My second grade teacher was the sweetest one ever. Like, no seriously, she was sweeter than your second grade teacher. Now she is raising children to love Jesus and posturing her heart to take in those who otherwise wouldn't have a home...and I still love her.

There are those people you remember forever because something about them etched itself on your memory... where in the world is that high school girl who tickle attacked me non-stop, when I was in elementary school and what in the world was her name?

There are the people you just plain forget...

I laid in bed last night, thinking about how this all pans out. Take a look:

Two or three years ago, when Constant first came out, I called #6 "The Harmony Song" and would play it over and over again, singing that harmony line. I had no idea that a few months later I would be sitting at the Cone's dining room table being introduced to almond butter by the guy who's now one of my now closest friends in KC. I've long ago confessed to him that I don't actually know how to sing his song, only the harmony. :)

The first time I went to a Call staff meeting, I knew one person and felt like a fish two-thousand miles out of water. I remember Katrina walked in wearing one of those grey onething shirts with the blue diamonds up the side. She sat on the wall to my right, with her legs crossed Indian-style under her, massive computer on her lap. I remember thinking "who is that girl and what is that personality that's pouring out of her?" Now we've been down, up, and all around the country together, shared ROARING laughter and deep emotions, and I know why she bought a laptop with such a big screen.

Randy, Kelsey, and family were a picture on a refrigerator to me when I got off the plane in Kansas City. Liz had kept their invitation to their adoption banquet for Zoe's adoption on her fridge, and I had viewed an infant Zoe in Kelsey's arms on a previous trip. I knew they had three sons and I knew Randy was bald. One facebook message and an impromptu meeting in Lou Engle's empty office later and I was on Randy's team. How could I begin to describe how dear these people are to me now? I've traveled with them, watched them add three more precious girls to their ranks, and absolutely fallen head over heels for this family. I will never be able to think about how my heart has been moved toward adoption without thinking about these people. I hope someday there will be little ones in my family who became a glimmer in my eye after the Lord planted me to run with the Bohlenders.

For some strange reason, I felt like I knew Truman before I actually did. My sister Elizabeth is an exquisite scrapbooker, and that plus her life of world travels leaves you happy as a clam if you get an hour in her house to just sit down and look through all her pictures. Years before I moved to Kansas City, I had seen pictures of young Truman's then-toothy grin plastered on his face that was topped with an off-center yamaka, getting dedicated in Jerusalem on a trip to Israel that my sister was on. Thanks, Liz's scrapbook, for introducing me to one of the world's greatest pun-ners.

It's interesting how relationships come, and it's interesting how they go too. When I was starting kindergarten with Genesis, we were way more concerned with what color we would make the triangle than the fact that we would go through all of school together. Then there are people I totally don't remember, like, uh...those ones I don't remember.

I could go on and on. About the first time I made Christina laugh (at our hotel in DC), or how Tim played at my sister's wedding and now I'm on his worship team (and he tries to get sneaky deals out of me playing Settlers)... The stories are all just so fascinating! I love what the Lord has woven even in my own life.

On a closing note, I would like to highlight one particular part of relationships ending that I am very thankful for. Thank the good Lord I will not be marrying any of those boys my over-excited 8th grade emotions thought I might. Amen. Let's stand.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Running to Win the Prize

Glorie and I are sitting on the big leather couch together. I'm blogging and she's watching King George and the Ducky. The house smells like the banana bread we just made. While we thought Ariel and Judah would be coming over later, there are spots on Glorie's back that seem to be spreading, and since we'd rather not start a pox epidemic, it'll be Glorie and me flying solo.

On the practical front, Suz and OJ came back into town yesterday. I went four days without those kids and, boy, I missed them. I would see Samuel's little clothes and just miss his chubbiness and the cuddles I need to give him. Saturday night a few friends came over and we played a nice eventful game of Settlers. Nothing like accusations of manipulation to make you better friends.

I'm still moving, and I can't help but feel like I'm staring August 19 in the face. I hope this isn't a weird analogy, but it feels kind of like what I would guess it feels like to be pregnant. No matter what you do, the day of huge transition is coming and while you are SO excited for what it's going to bring, you can't help but remember sometimes that you're kind of also staring in the face one of the hardest, most painful things you might ever do. So maybe that's kind of a dramatic way to describe leaving Kansas City -- I know I'm going to make it, but it feels really hard at certain moments. Now the job is this: to walk forward without fear.

Suz has a song she sings with the kids before they go to sleep: "There is no fear [then they shout: "No fear! no fear!] in love..." Of course that's from the verse that says: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." So I want to walk without fear. I know that my God is faithful, and I know that I'm walking in obedience by moving to Tacoma, and I know that God blesses obedience. In conclusion, I think there's one big response that's justified: expectancy. Pray for me, friends, to walk in expectancy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

His Longing

Yesterday was a day I had been very much looking forward to. The incredible Shelley Paulson asked if she and a few of her photography mentees, Beka Fancher, and Joanna Reyburn could use me for a photo shoot, and I was SO blessed by their asking! We had a fantastic time finding rickety parts of old buildings to shoot around and stomping through very tall grass rebuking tics, chiggers, snakes and every such thing. Here are a few of Joanna's photos.

After chomping down Five Guys and Fries (SO YUMMY) with them last night, I ended up in bed after midnight, with about four and a half hours of sleep to look forward to. This morning I realized that I probably didn't even get a whole REM cycle in, because I woke up at 2:15, thus breaking what could have been four hours into two hour chunks. I'm tired.

Before I go fall asleep for some rest before the noon set then afternoon tea with Shelley and friends, I want to write a little something.

Saturday 6ams are always exciting; yes, it's a very peculiar, original type of exciting, but exciting all the same. We're all half asleep when we sit down in the briefing room at 5:30, the base is SILENT because the NightWatch moved to the FSM building down the road for the night, and it's always time to gain a bit of expectancy and rev up of our hearts for an intercession set. Judy always has some fire to provoke us with and we end up spending the next two hours having a great time interceding and praising the Lord.

Today we sang Matt Gilman's song You Made A Way, and while I liked the chorus, of course I was itching to get to the bridge: "I am Yours, You are mine, and we'll be together forever!" I could see it just sitting there in the screens queu, waiting for me to push it. When the time came, hands across the room flew into the air -- off the book in front of them, off the guitar strings at their fingertips, off their previously gentle attempt to enter in to worship. As I sang one of my favorite lines in the whole universe to sing, I was struck by a reach back to us from the Lord. My heart felt pushed to believe that indeed, not only was I singing this to my Beloved, but He was singing it to me. We did not lay claim to Jesus, but He laid claim to us. How much more is He able to sing: "I am Yours; YOU are MINE..."

Just think about it, and it makes your heart melt. My feeble whisper of "Oh Jesus, I can't wait to see Your face" is nothing compared to the fire in His eyes and the jealousy in His heart that seals us with His love: "I can't wait for you to be with Me where I am; to be wholly and completely Mine. We will be together forever."

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Referring to my last post:

The slurpee was a fail. I know, I know -- tragic. I walked in, didn't see any signs, so to avoid embarrassment, I decided to just spend money. I filled one cup up (pina colada and coca-cola, of course), went to the cashier and made a passing comment: "so, no free slurpee?" His eyebrows raised with recognition, he reached under the counter, and pulled out the tiniest slurpee cup you have ever seen. One twitter friend told me it is a 7.11 ounce cup...whatever it was, it was too small. I bought a normal slurpee (then only drank half of it).

On the hair front, I give you exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
and exhibit C:
(exhibit C is for the purpose of inspiring you to smile so your nose scrunches). In case you didn't get this from the pictures, it's pretty much about one word: bangs. I am so excited to have something new and fun, and the [fantastic] lady taught me how to do all sorts of fun stuff! Here's hoping I stay inspired. (If you're in KC and need a haircut, please let me tell you about this lady...she really is great!)

And lastly...Jesus still enjoys you. It's true. After our Saturday afternoon set usually comes Misty's solo devotional, and she was singing about how the Lord doesn't grow bitter or close His heart to us even when we fail Him. He really is faithful, His steadfast love really does endure and reach out to You unendingly, and He delights in giving you His mercies anew every morning. When you open your eyes tomorrow, believe it, remember it -- His mercies are NEW.

Please Go Get a Slurpee

Because it will be free. I mean, after all, it is 7-11. I'm planning on getting mine on my way to my HAIRCUT! Yippee!!!! *Squealing with excitement...okay, so I'm not actually squealing. But I feel like I should be!* I'll try to not to come home with a mohawk or a mullet, but I'm not making any promises.

Oh, and while you're sipping your slurpee (ha! I totally wanted to writing "slipping your slurpee"), remember that Jesus enjoys you.

I think that will be my blog for today. That'll do, blog. That'll do.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Today I stayed home from work. This cold is nasty; I've been comforting myself over the last few days with the thought that someday Jesus will come back and there will be no more colds ever again. Have you ever thought about the little stuff that will be no more when righteousness reigns on the earth? Of course we've looked forward to cancer being vanquished and oppression being smashed, but it's true that there will be victory in "little" things too! No more colds!

I didn't actually sleep until 2pm...before that I a) spent a lot of time on facebook (which, I can honestly say, I don't usually enjoy doing) and b) got a lot done! I've been a little convicted over the last few days about passivity in terms of getting all my ducks in a row for college, and the chunk of hours today provided was the perfect time to be productive!

I found out that I will indeed register for classes when I get there. I started my Math Placement Test...oh boy. When the first, super easy Algebra problem popped up, I smiled, then couldn't believe I smiled! Wait a minute, do I actually like math? Oh! I forgot! I do!

The last math I took in school was AP Calculus. I squeezed by with a B, but let's just say it wasn't my cup of tea (especially since I was learning it on my own on a computer program). As difficult as it may have been (okay, and I was a little passive in learning), it was still AP Calculus...and yet, today, when I got to numbers 10 and 11 of simple problems, I couldn't remember basic Algebra.

Dear people! (And dear old-math-teacher, I know you're reading, Jeff! :) How do you do square root again? and functions? and sets of answers? AH! This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Don't tell me the answers because I only got part way through and decided to finish the rest later...but I can't look anything up or study.

Then I did the kind of productive thing where you shell out money. Plane tickets! First, plane tickets to New Jersey for Kim's wedding. She brought her fiancee to KC for us all to meet, and we love him! I am so stoked -- it's like a sister getting married! It will be nice to go to college knowing I'll see all the fam in three weeks anyways. Plus, I've never been to the East Coast. I'm going to fly into Philadelphia, then might have to take a train to New Jersey...quite the first experience!

And then...then I bought a plane ticket to Tacoma. A piercingly, markedly one-way ticket. I made sure to fly on Southwest so I can take as much stuff as possible for free. The date of departure is August 19.

So, on this Wednesday, the eight of July, I have exactly six weeks left in Kansas City. I think I'm going to start praying for joy not only for my heart but for all my friends too -- that we would all be able to be HAPPY! together during these last few weeks, really almost happy about me leaving, because me going to Tacoma is something God set into motion. He leads perfectly.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Love at First Sight

Last night I met Piper, the newest Bohlender. Yesterday was her birthday! :) She is unbelievable. This little girl is so precious to me. She's tiny; tiny feet, tiny fingers, tiny face...lots of hair, and lots of sweetness. New life always moves my heart, but nothing moves it like a little new life that I feel tied to. This little girl -- I love her, and I haven't even gotten to know her! (Thanks to a nasty cold, I haven't even gotten to hold her!) The seventh piece in a family puzzle full of LIFE, she fits perfectly in a spot full of rejoicing and showered with love. Oh baby Piper, you are so loved.

The thought of you made my heart swell with joy before you were born, and seeing you in person made my eyes well with tears of joy. The sweetness of Jesus is on you, little one. I can't wait to watch you grow and discover the intense love your God has over your little heart.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Trains of Thought

Wednesday morning is a screens morning for the 6am, then team breakfast. [I really like Wednesdays!]

This made me think about the dream I had last night, all about people on my team. Weird dream, awesome people.

Then I left team breakfast, went to work, and struggled with feeling like a nobody; this was strange, because I felt like the hugest somebody during breakfast.

This made me think about insignificance and what a liar it is. It's so easy to wrap myself up in feeling validated by little things like a text from the right person or joining a worship team, and forget that I would be nothing...except Jesus, the God of the Universe, the King of everything that exists, said I was worth His life. That sets the bar real high, and honestly, everything else gets to fall by the wayside.

Then I dropped off the car some friends let me use this morning. First of all, it blessed my socks off that they volunteered their vehicle just because last night they heard my extensive, complicated planning for how to get where I needed to be today. Second, I walked in the house and started interacting with their baby boy. Anna (his mom -- great name, huh? :) came over and said something to the effect of agreeing with him that I carry the fragrance of Christ, and that was why he liked me, then she smiled at me and said "David likes Jesus."

This made me think about all the people I love; and realize why, for so many, I love them. Just like Paul said:
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. -2 Corinthians 2:14
My friends! They carry the fragrance of Christ! He softens hard hearts and makes spirits that used to be bitter sweet. I am so thankful for the fragrance of Himself He has put in the ones around me. Thinking about this puts into perspective why fellowship is SO GOOD!

I went into the coffee shop with Christina and we met her boss. He asked her to buy him a chocolate milk.

This made me think about chocolate milk. Then I bought one.

I went to the Bohlender's house and had salad with them. I'll leave you with the few things THIS made me think about:

1) The girls. MY girls. They will begin to walk and talk while I'm gone. They'll run and grin (although they already do that) and they will get taller and taller. They'll wear real shoes and go to Sunday school. All of this, and I won't be here.

2) There is a new baby coming! I left their house and just wanted to worship the Lord and smile really big because this little girl is going to be so precious, and I am SO thankful she will be here in a few days! Let the schemes begin of what sorts of treats to take Kelsey after delivery. :) :)